Doc at Your Door: 8 Tips to Prevent Food Borne Illness

Learn how to keep food safe when you cook at home.

May 31, 2011 — -- More than 48 million Americans get sick from food borne disease each year, mostly because of consuming raw or undercooked food, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While most cases of food-related illnesses are not serious and last about a couple days, it's hard to tell which exposure could turn more serious.

But there are ways to prevent harmful bacteria from contaminating your food and potentially making you sick.

Here are a few dos and dont's to prevent food borne illness:

Don't leave foods that need to be chilled sitting out. Refrigerate and freeze necessary foods right away.

Do use a meat thermometer to make sure your food is cooked thoroughly.

Do wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm, soapy water before and after handling any raw meats, fruits and vegetables.

Do wash utensils and disinfect surfaces before and after use.

Don't defrost food on the kitchen counter. Instead, use the refrigerator, cold running water, or the microwave oven.

Don't let food marinate at room temperature.

Keep marinating food refrigerated.

Don't over pack the refrigerator.

Click here to return to the "Good Morning America" website.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Top Stories

Top Stories

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events