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Bacteria are a member of a large group of unicellular microorganisms - some of which can cause human disease. Although most bacteria are harmless or often beneficial, some bacteria are pathogenic, or those that can pose a threat to human health or cause illness. Bacteria and viruses are responsible for most foodborne illnesses and are the biggest threat to food safety.
Following good food safety habits can help protect you and your family from food illness. To keep your family safe from food illness, follow these four simple steps: clean, separate, cook, and chill:
TCS (Time/Temperature Control for Safety) food is a high risk food that requires specific time and temperature controls to remain safe for consumption. When cooling this type of food, the temperature must be reduced from 135°F to 41°F or lower - within 6 hours.
Raw poultry (turkey, chicken, duck, goose, quail, etc.) may contain harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter. Proper preparation, cooking, and storage procedures must be followed - or a foodborne illness can occur.
Pork requires the safe preparation, cooking temperature, and proper storage of leftovers in order to prevent food illness. The USDA recommends cooking pork to a minimum cooking temperature of 145°F - as measured with a food thermometer - in order to kill any pathogens.