Don't Throw it Away: The dangers of cross contamination - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Don't Throw it Away: The dangers of cross contamination

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

If you've ever had the feeling you ate something bad, but you can't put your finger on exactly what, you might be surprised to learn the cause of your sickness.

Cross contamination is when the juices from uncooked foods come in contact with cooked foods, or foods that can be eaten raw, and the result of this can make people very sick.

Jackie Ogden, a Family and Consumer Science specialist with the University of Georgia says preventing cross contamination starts before you even leave the grocery store.

"It's a very good idea to put those boxes and containers that need to stay dry in one section of the grocery buggy, meats in another area."

Once you get home, it's crucial to keep foods separate in the fridge. According to the CDC, foodborne microbes can be easily transferred from one food to another by using the same knife or cutting board.

Ogden says you should always use a separate board for meat, poultry and seafood, and another for fruits or vegetables.

"For cleaning purposes we want to make sure we are using warm, sudsy water and that we are really scrubbing and getting into all those cracks and crevices," she said.

Also, never defrost meat on the kitchen counter.

Ogden says you should always defrost meat in the refrigerator or using the defrost option on your microwave. A third option is to fill your sink with cold water and let the meat defrost there, and change the water every 30 minutes.

For more information on cross contamination dangers click here.

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