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The Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program of BC

Your Responsibilities
Healthy Living

Food Safety

Safety Guidelines

If you are eating out, choose a clean restaurant with a good reputation. Be careful with salad bars, particularly items with mayonnaise or creamy dressings. Make sure all items are fresh and ask to have your meat well cooked. Consult with your nutritionist before you stop following any of these food safety recommendations.

For more information on how to protect yourself from food-borne pathogens such as Listeria and Salmonella, visit the Health Canada web site.

Food Preparation

  • Defrost meat and fish in the refrigerator or in the microwave. Defrosted foods should be used immediately. Do not re-freeze food.
  • Thoroughly wash fresh fruits and vegetables under running water before eating. Trim away any bruised areas.
  • Use a separate cutting board for meat and seafood. Wash hands, knives and cutting boards very well with hot soapy water between uses.
  • Avoid getting fluids from hot dog packages on other foods, utensils and food preparation surfaces.
  • Wash hands after handling hot dogs, luncheon meats, delicatessen meats, raw meat, chicken, turkey, seafood and their juices.
  • Sanitized all areas used for the preparation of raw meat or seafood with diluted bleach (5 ml bleach in 1 litre of water) or a cleaner containing bleach.
  • Wash the tops of all cans (e.g., soup, pop, fruit) before opening.

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Meat, Poultry, Seafood & Dairy

  • Meat and seafood should be well cooked. There should not be any rare or pink portions.
  • Poultry should be cooked to an internal temperatures of 85°C (180°F).
  • Red meat, ground beef and pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 75°C (165°F).
  • Do not eat hot dogs, luncheon meats, bologna or other delicatessen meats unless they are reheated until steaming hot. Avoid using the microwave for reheating since uneven cooking may occur.
  • Do not eat salads made in the store, such as ham salad, chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad or seafood salad.
  • Do not eat refrigerated pâtés or meat spreads. Canned or shelf-stable products may be eaten.
  • Barbecuing and grilling should be done carefully. Make sure meat is well cooked.
  • Do not eat raw or undercooked seafood, especially sushi, clams, shrimp, oysters, squid, octopus, and marinated fish.
  • Do not eat refrigerated smoked seafood unless it is contained in a cooked dish such as a casserole. Canned or shelf-stable seafood may be eaten.
  • Do not drink unpasteurized milk or eat foods that contain unpasteurized milk.
  • Do not eat unpasteurized cheeses.
  • Do not eat soft cheeses such as feta, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined cheeses, or Mexican-style cheeses such as queso blanco, queso fresco and Panela, unless they have labels clearly stating they are made from pasteurized milk.
  • Avoid yogurt and ice cream from “soft-serve” machines.

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Food Storage

  • Keep the refrigerator at 4°C (40°F) or lower; keep the freezer at -18°C (0°F) or lower.
  • Keep raw meat, seafood and poultry separate from other food that will not be cooked and away from cooked/ready-to-eat foods.
  • Perishable foods should not be unrefrigerated for over 2 hours.
  • Any egg or mayonnaise dishes should not be unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours.
  • Note all dates on foods and use before the expiry or “best before” date.

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Cleaning Up

  • Wash cutlery or dishes between use with raw and cooked meats.
  • Wash your dishes with hot, soapy water and rinse with hot water.
  • “Air dry” dishes instead of using a dishtowel.
  • If you use a dishwasher, use the hot setting.
  • If you use paper plates and plastic utensils, discard them after each use.
  • Do not share cups, dishes, or utensils before they have been washed.

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