Food Safety

Protect Yourself and Your Family


What is the temperature danger zone?

The temperature danger zone is a range between 140°F and 40°F where bacteria can grow rapidly. It is important to limit the amount of time food spends at these unsafe temperatures. Illness can occur if a food is eaten after it has been left at an unsafe temperature too long.

Keep hot foods above 140°F and cold foods below 40°F


Keep an eye out for these foods!  

Foods that have the ideal environment for bacteria growth should be kept out of the temperature danger zone. They are known as potentially hazardous foods.

  • Meats, Poultry and Seafood
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Baked Potatoes
  • Melon and Figs
  • Raw garlic in oil
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Cooked- rice, beans, pasta


Thawing, Cooling and Reheating Food…the right way!


Use these simple techniques to properly thaw your meat, poultry and seafood


  • Submerge bagged food in a cool water bath
  • Monitor bath making sure water stays cool, replacing it when needed
  • Cook!


  • Place in fridge until thawed
  • Use when ready!


Improper cooling of food is the most common cause of foodborne illness. After food is properly cooked it needs to return to 40°F within 2 hours. There are many ways to quickly cool food to prevent bacteria growth:

  • Use shallow containers no larger than 2 inches to store food
  • Allow hot food, in shallow containers, to have air circulation for 20-30minutes before placing it in the fridge


Reheated food needs to return to an internal temperature of 165°F. Stirring food throughout the reheating process will ensure heat is evenly dispersed. Food is done when it is steamy and feels hot!

What is the correct way to wash fruits and veggies?

Just running your produce under water won’t do! Use these easy and effective steps:

  • Remove any outer leaves, stems or stickers
  • Place under clean, running water
  • Scrub with clean brush or hand, use produce wash found at your local grocery store for an extra clean
  • Dry produce with clean paper towel or cloth
  • Cut away any bruised or damaged areas
  • Enjoy or store!

Decoding the Date

  • Sell by Date

This is the day the product will be removed from the grocery store shelf. The food has gone bad yet but should be purchased before this date.

  • Best if used By Date:

This is the day the product begins losing flavor and quality. It does not mean the product is unsafe to consume, but will continue to lose quality until it expires.

  • Use by Date: the day the product expires. Food should be discarded after this date!

Avoid Cross Contamination

  • Sanitize your surroundings! At least once daily the countertops of your families kitchen should be cleaned. When cooking with hazardous foods, disinfect any surfaces, dishes and equipment that were used.
  • Get rid of the rag! A dishcloth that is used for hands, dishes and countertops, is covered in bacteria. Using a contaminated dishcloth to wipe countertops spreads bacteria throughout the kitchen- potentially infecting other foods.
    • Change your dishcloth frequently to prevent the spread of bacteria
    • Use paper towels when cleaning up after raw meats and other hazardous foods

Get tips for teaching food safety to your kids! Registered dietitian and CUSD Nutrition’s director, Wesley Delbridge shares his advice here (


Clean Snacking: Breakfast

Our new Clean Label Initiative has inspired us to share some healthy, mouthwatering, effortless snacks with you. Use whole, fresh foods to create delicious snacks and leave the additives behind!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, not only because it is the very first meal of the day, but also because it provides your body with nutrients for energy throughout the day. The very first meal of the day starts your metabolism, which provides your body with essential vitamins and nutrients. Breakfast has also been proven to improve cognitive function, helping students think clearly and efficiently in the mornings for school.

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Baked Breakfast Taquitos
  • 12 Corn Tortillas
  • 3 Large Eggs (scrambled)
  •  6 oz. Ground Turkey Breakfast Sausage
  • 1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  •  ½ cup Red Bell Pepper Diced Small
  •  Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Cook turkey sausage in a sauté pan, once cooked through, add scrambled eggs, bell pepper and cheese.

Fill corn tortillas with egg and sausage mixture, wrap and place on baking sheet seam side down. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until a golden and crisp brown.

Serve right away, or save for a later snack.

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Egg Muffins
  • 12 Eggs
  • 1 cup Cooked Ham (or bacon or sausage)
  • ¼ cup Red Bell Pepper
  •  ¼ cup Mushroom
  • ½ cup Baby Spinach Chopped
  • 1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  •  ½ tsp. Salt
  •  Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray or use muffin liners. Using a mixing bowl, scramble or beat eggs and add remaining ingredients. Mix together well. Scoop contents, using a 1/3-cup into each muffin mold. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the center of the muffin is fully cooked. Serve or store for an anytime snack.

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Fruit Parfait
  • 4 Servings
  •  3 cups Vanilla Non Fat Yogurt (or Greek Yogurt)
  • 1 cup Strawberries
  • 2 pint Blackberries (raspberries or blueberries)
  • 1 cup granola (optional)

Layer 1/3-cup vanilla yogurt into 4 plastic cups or bowls. Combine berries, and alternate the layers of fruit and yogurt until filled to the top or for 2 to 3 layers of yogurt. Add granola if desired, or store parfait for a later snack and add granola later.

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Fruit Topped Waffles
  • 4 servings
  • ½ cup Sliced Strawberries
  •  ½ cup Blueberries
  •  ½ cup Sliced Bananas
  •  ¼ cup Sliced Almonds
  •  ¼ cup honey (or Agave)

Combine all ingredients into mixing bowl. Serve over waffles.

*Tip: Be creative and use fruits that are in season. Also, frozen fruits are an alternative if the fruits you wanted aren’t in season or aren’t available.

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Savory Potato Hash Topping
  • 4 Servings
  • 2 cups Cubed/Chopped Sweet Potato (or Russet Potato)
  • 8 oz. Ground Turkey Sausage or Cubed/Chopped Ham
  •  2 cups Spinach or Kale
  •  ½ cup Chopped Onion
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp. Cumin Spice Seasoning
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook Turkey Sausage or Cubed Ham in a large sauté pan, until fully cooked. Set meat aside. Add olive oil to pan, once olive oil is warm add potatoes, garlic powder, cumin, and onions. Cook until potatoes are tender. Add the spinach or kale until it is wilted. Add a dash of salt and pepper for taste. Serve over waffles for a savory waffle topping.

*Tip: If you run out of waffles, this hash is great over toast or with a fried egg.

Clean Snacking: Simple Staples

Our new Clean Label Initiative has inspired us to share some healthy, mouthwatering, effortless snacks with you. Use whole, fresh foods to create delicious snacks and leave the additives behind!



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Eggs are a very good food to eat anytime during the day, especially in the morning. They are great sources of vitamins and nutrients such as A, B & E vitamins; also Iron, Folate and significant amounts of protein. More than half of the fat that comes from the egg’s yolk is unsaturated fat (good fat), that contains extensive amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids; which significantly improve brain function and vision.


Guacamole Stuffed Hard Boiled Egg

8 Servings

4 Hard Boiled Eggs

1 Small Avocado (1/2 of a large one)

½ Roma Tomato (chopped finely)

1 tablespoon Red Onion (finely diced)

1 tablespoon Cilantro (finely diced)

1 teaspoon Lime Juice

1 teaspoon Garlic Powder

½ teaspoon Ground Cumin Spice

½ teaspoon Crush Red Pepper (optional)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Break boiled eggs out of shells, cut in half (vertically) and remove yolk. In a small mixing bowl, mash avocado and 2 of the egg yolks. After avocado is smooth, add onion, tomato and remaining seasonings.

Scoop a spoon full of guacamole into the hard-boiled egg white. Place on a serving plate or platter and serve.

*Tip: For perfect boiled eggs, place eggs in a medium size pot and fill with water just above the eggs and set the stove to a medium-high heat. Once water comes to a boil, turn off heat and remove pot from the burner. Let eggs sit in the hot water for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove eggs from hot water; rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking process.

Egg Salad Dip

            4 to 6 Servings

8 Large Eggs (Boiled and Peeled)

1/3 cup low-fat Greek Yogurt

1 tablespoon Mayonnaise (low-fat)

1 tablespoon Fresh Dill Minced (1 teaspoon Dried Dill)

¾ teaspoon Salt

½ teaspoon Black Pepper Ground

Chopped boiled eggs into very small pieces (or use a food processor) and place into a mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients to eggs; mix lightly with a fork until contents are well mixed together. Serve you’re your favorite crackers.

*Tip: Use this recipe for egg salad sliders with a whole grain roll or over whole grain toast for a more personal snack.


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Beans have different textures and tastes; one of the best ways to introduce beans into your child’s diet is to mix them in other recipes or meals that your child enjoys. An example of this could be adding beans to a rice side dish or salsa that your child loves. Beans come in many different colors and shapes, include your child when grocery shopping or picking these out for a meal at home. They will be excited to contribute and to try a new food that they helped select.

Beans have many health benefits; most importantly they are rich in fiber, packed with protein and are low in fat. Fiber helps your gastrointestinal tract digest your food and rid your body of toxins. While beans are a good source of plant-based protein, this is important for your nutritional health, immune function and overall growth and development.


Black Bean Pico de Gallo

6 to 8 Servings

15 oz. Canned Black Beans (Drained and Rinsed)

15 oz. Canned Corn (Drained)

3 Vine Tomatoes (Seeded and Chopped)

1 Green Bell Pepper Chopped (Seeds and Ribs removed)

½ Red Onion Chopped

1 Jalapeno Pepper finely chopped (Seeds and Ribs removed)

¼ cup Cilantro Chopped

1 teaspoon Cumin Spice

1 teaspoon Lime Juice

½ teaspoon Salt

½ teaspoon Pepper

Prep and chop all fresh ingredients; mix vegetables with spices in a Large-mixing bowl. Serve with corn tortilla chips or Pita chips.

*Tip: Add this black bean Pico to top off tacos or quesadillas.

White Bean Hummus Dip

4 Servings

2 15 oz. cans of Cannellini Beans, (Drained and Rinsed)

2 tablespoons Tahini

Juice of 1 Lemon

5 Garlic Cloves (Roasted)

½ teaspoon Cumin Spice

¼ teaspoon Smoked Paprika

3 tablespoons Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Blend cannellini beans with all ingredients, EXECPT the olive oil, with a food processor or blender. Once ingredients are fairly blended, slowly add olive oil and blend until beans are a smooth texture. Serve with Whole grain pita chips or bread.

*Tip: Make extra and have it with sandwiches or vegetables during the week.



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Baked Potato

Baked potatoes are unprocessed, low calorie and easy to make. When baking a potato, you save many calories by not adding or cooking the potato in fat. A fresh vegetable salsa to moisten and flavor a baked potato is a nutritionally benefitting alternative to butter and salt.


Southwest Potato:

4 Servings

4 Large Potatoes (Russet or Sweet)

1 Red Bell Pepper

1 Green Bell Pepper

½ White Onion Chopped

1 cup Canned Black Beans (Drained and Rinsed)

1 cup Canned Corn (Drained and Rinsed)

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

1 tablespoon Taco Seasoning

½ cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Low fat Sour Cream for topping

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and cook potatoes for 1 hour. While potatoes cook in oven, heat and mix olive oil, peppers, onion, corn and seasoning in a sauté pan until tender. Once potatoes are cooked through and soft in the middle, let cool, cut open, add Southwest mixture. Top off with cheddar and a little sour cream.

*Tip: If you’re short on time, use a salsa or store bought Pico de Gallo as a southwest topping.