Safe Recipe? Here is what to look for

April 14, 2019

Most of us are familiar with safe food handling practices, such as washing hands, rinsing produce and avoiding cross contamination between raw and fresh foods. Recipes can be a good source of food safety information for consumers and can improve our behaviors in the kitchen when preparing foods.

The four new food safety guidelines are in italics:

Temperature. Cook until internal temperature reaches XX. The recipe writer fills in the blank.

Hand washing. Wash hands with soap and water. Include this statement at the beginning of a recipe and after each touch of raw meats, poultry, seafood or eggs.

Cross contamination. Wash (insert cutting board, counter, utensil, serving plate) after touching raw meats, poultry, seafood or eggs. Do not reuse marinades used on raw foods. Do not rinse raw poultry or meat.

Produce. Gently rub produce under cold running water. Scrub firm produce with a clean vegetable brush under running water.

To use the recipe style guide, read through the recipe and add the guideline which applies to the recipe you are writing. It may work best to list the guideline in the ingredient list or in the recipe directions. All recipes should start with instructions to wash hands with soap and water because current studies show a large majority of people do not wash their hands properly-or at all-when handling food.

Here is a sample recipe:

Green beans with bacon and new potatoes


Serves 4

4 slices bacon

1 medium onion, scrubbed with clean vegetable brush under running water and chopped

2 lbs fresh green beans, gently rubbed under cold running water and snapped

8 small new potatoes, scrubbed with clean vegetable brush under running water and cut in half

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper


Wash hands with soap and water. Cut bacon into thirds on clean meat cutting board. Wash cutting board.

Cook the bacon pieces in a large sauce pan over medium heat for 5 minutes. Wash hands with soap and water after handling bacon.

Add onion to sauce pan with the bacon; sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add green beans and potatoes to the sauce pan with just enough water to cover.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Add salt and pepper and cover. Simmer about 1 hour or until the beans are tender. Stir occasionally and add more water if necessary to keep the beans covered.

Recipe adapted from fightbac.org web site

The Safe Recipe Style Guide is designed for use by the recipe writer, food journalists and consumers. It is provided by the Partnership for Food Safety Education and Food Marketing Institute Foundation and you can find it at saferecipeguide.org

Julie Buck, EdD, RDN, is a registered dietitian, and Family and Consumer Sciences educator employed at the University of Idaho Extension, Bingham County. She can be reached at (208)785-8060 or jhbuck@uidaho.edu.