Separate - The Basics

Reviewed by Eleese Cunningham, RDN
cutting board

March is National Nutrition Month, when the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reminds everyone to return to the basics of healthy eating. It is also the time of year when the Academy celebrates expertise of registered dietitian nutritionists as the food and nutrition experts.

Bacteria can spread through cross-contamination. This occurs when raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs come in contact with ready-to-eat foods like bread and vegetables, so keep them separate.

  • When handling raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs, always use separate cutting boards, plates and utensils from ready-to-eat foods.
  • Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, seafood or eggs.
  • While shopping at the grocery store, keep raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs separate from all other ready-to-eat foods in both the shopping cart and during bagging.
  • Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs separate in the refrigerator to prevent bacteria from spreading and the juices from dripping on ready-to-eat foods.

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