Government of the Virgin Islands
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Four Steps to Food Safety

The Department of Health Public Health Preparedness Program reminds everyone to be food safe. As bacteria are everywhere, it means preventing foodborne illness through four easy steps – Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill:

  • Clean: Wash hands and surfaces often
  • Separate: Don’t cross-contaminate (meat, poultry, and fish)
  • Cook: Cook to proper temperatures
  • Chill: Refrigerate foods promptly, as necessary

Persons preparing and serving food should also follow these other tips to prevent foodborne illness:

  • Wash hands with warm, soapy water for 20 seconds before and after handling food; after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing or after handling uncooked eggs or raw meat, poultry, or fish and their juices. 
  • Use gloves and remember to also wash gloved hands.
  • Thoroughly wash with hot, soapy water all surfaces that come in contact with raw meat, poultry, fish, and eggs before moving on to the next step in food preparation. 
  • Keep cutting boards clean, wash them in hot, soapy water after each use. Once cutting boards become excessively worn or develop hard-to-clean grooves, replace them.
  • Don’t use the same platter and utensils that held the raw product to serve the cooked product. Any bacteria present in the raw meat or juices can contaminate the safely cooked product. Serve cooked products on clean plates, using clean utensils and clean hands.
  • When using a food thermometer, it is important to wash the probe after each use with hot, soapy water before reinserting it into a food.
  • Keep cleaning products and other chemicals away from food and surfaces used for food.

Learn more about Food Safety at