Food and Water Safety

The CDC estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases (CDC, 2018). Therefore, it's crucial that everyone plays their part in practicing proper food safety every day. Symptoms of foodborne illness include, but are not limited to, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and flu-like symptoms. The symptoms and incubation periods of various agents of foodborne illnesses vary. For specific information on symptoms and incubation periods for specific agents of foodborne illness, follow the linked page to information from the CDC.

What Should I Do If I Suspect I Have A Foodborne Illness?  

If you suspect you have a foodborne illness, contact your doctor or medical practitioner. You can also contact the Greenfield Health Department for more information or to report a potential foodborne illness.                                             

Keep in mind that the most common causes of foodborne illness can take 12 - 48 hours from exposure to when symptoms appear.   Additionally, without a stool sample, other means of medical or food science testing, or the reporting of multiple cases of illness related to an establishment, it can be near impossible to identify the cause of a foodborne illness.

What Can You Do In Your Home To Prevent Foodborne Illness? 

  • Cook meats, poultry, and seafood to the proper temperature (see chart below for safe minimum cooking temperatures). 
    • Use a clean food thermometer to take the temperature of the food instead of using visual cues to signal the food is prepared.
  • Prevent cross-contamination of food items.
    • During storage, separate raw poultry, meats, and seafoods from each as well as keep them below other ready to eat items in the refrigerator.
    • Use a separate cutting board or sanitize the cutting board in between working with raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
    • Do not reuse the same plate for ready-to-eat/cooked food after it was used for raw food.    
  • Practice safe thawing practices
    • Do not thaw the frozen food on the counter throughout the day.
    • Thaw the food in the refrigerator overnight, in the microwave on a defrost setting, or as part of the cooking process.
  • Reheat all precooked or ready-to-eat foods to 165°F.
    • Never reheat foods in a steam table or for warmer (examples: crock pot or Nesco). Always use a stovetop or microwave.
    • Reheat foods within 2 hours or less.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and warm water during food preparation. 
    • Before handling ready-to-eat foods;
    • After handling raw meat, poultry, seafood, or raw vegetables/fruits;
    • After other forms of hand contamination.
  • Sanitize surfaces often using a food-contact surface grade sanitizing product.
    • Before beginning food preparation of any kind; 
    • After working with raw meats, poultry, seafood, and raw vegetables/fruits;
    • At the end of all food preparation.

Water Safety                                                                            

If you are connected to a private water well, ensure you get your well tested on an annual basis to check for contaminants. See the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website for more information on private well testing.

Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures
Food Safe Minimum Cooking Temperature (°F) Temperature Hold Time (seconds)
Cooking poultry,
stuffed meats, stuffing with meat; wild game,
raw animal foods in a microwave and those
that have been par-cooked; and Reheating of
left-over foods or foods in a microwave oven
for hot holding
165 15
Cooking ground raw
meat & fish, injected meat, marinated meat,
tenderized meat, and raw eggs not for
immediate service
155 15
Cooking fish, pork,
commercially raised game animals, wholemuscle intact beef steaks and raw shell eggs
for immediate service
145 15
Reheating commercially processed
and packaged foods for hot hold, cooking
vegetables for hot holding
135 none