Canino's Sausage Company is committed to quality products and consumer safety. Below you will find a reprint of the Food Safety Basics from the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. If you have any questions about product handling and safety please contact us.

Safe steps in food handling, cooking, and storage are essential to prevent foodborne illness. You can't see, smell or taste harmful bacteria that may cause illness. In every step of food preparation, follow the four Fight BAC! guidelines to keep food safe:

  • Clean -- Wash hands and surfaces often
  • Separate -- Don't cross-contaminate
  • Cook -- Cook to proper temperatures
  • Chill -- Refrigerate promptly

STORAGE

- Always refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours (1 hour when the temperature is above 90 F).

- Check the temperature of your refrigerator and freezer with an appliance thermometer. The refrigerator should be at 40 F or below and the freezer at 0 F or below.

- Cook or freeze fresh poultry, fish, ground meats and variety meats within 2 days; other beef, veal, lamb or pork within 3 to 5 days.

- Perishable food such as meat and poultry should be wrapped securely to maintain quality and to prevent meat juices from getting onto other food.

- To maintain quality when freezing meat and poultry in its original package, wrap the package again with foil or plastic wrap that is recommended for the freezer.

- In general, high-acid canned food such as tomatoes, grapefruit and pineapple can be stored on the shelf for 12 to 18 months. Low-acid canned food such as meat, poultry, fish and most vegetables will keep 2 to 5 years -- if the can remains in good condition and has been stored in a cool, clean and dry place. Discard cans that are dented, leaking, bulging or rusted.

PREPARATION

- Always wash hands before and after handling food.

- Don't cross-contaminate. Keep raw meat, poultry, fish and their juices away from other food. After cutting raw meats, wash hands, cutting board, knife and countertops with hot, soapy water.

- Marinate meat and poultry in a covered dish in the refrigerator.

- Sanitize cutting boards by using a solution of 1 teaspoon chlorine bleach in 1 quart of water.

REFREEZING

Meat and poultry defrosted in the refrigerator may be refrozen before or after cooking. If thawed by other methods, cook before refreezing.

SHOPPING

- Purchase refrigerated or frozen items after selecting your non-perishables.

- Never choose meat or poultry in packaging that is torn or leaking.

- Do not buy food past "Sell-By", "Use-By" or other expiration dates.

- Put raw meat and poultry into a plastic bag so meat juices will not cross-contaminate ready-to-eat food or food that is eaten raw, such as vegetables or fruit.

- Plan to drive directly home from the grocery store. You may want to take a cooler with ice for the perishables.
THAWING

Refrigerator:
The refrigerator allows slow, safe thawing. Make sure thawing meat and poultry juices do not drip onto other food.

Cold Water:
For faster thawing, place food in a leak-proof plastic bag. Submerge in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes. Cook immediately after thawing.

Microwave:
Cook meat and poultry immediately after microwave thawing.

COOKING

- Cook ground meats to 160 F; ground poultry to 165 F.

- Beef, veal, and lamb steaks, roasts, and chops may be cooked to 145 F; all cuts of fresh pork, 160 F.

- Whole poultry should reach 180 F in the thigh; breasts, 170 F.

SERVING

- Hot food should be held at 140 F or warmer.

- Cold food should be held at 40 F or colder.

- When serving food at a buffet, keep food hot with chafing dishes, slow cookers and warming trays. Keep food cold by nesting dishes in bowls of ice or use small serving trays and replace them often.

- Perishable food should not be left out more than 2 hours at room temperature (1 hour when the temperature is above 90 F).

LEFTOVERS

- Discard any food left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours (1 hour if the temperature was above 90 F).

- Place food into shallow containers and immediately put in the refrigerator or freezer for rapid cooling.

- Use cooked leftovers within 4 days.

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