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12/11/2013 10:13 am ET | Updated Mar 11, 2015

5 Surefire Ways To Avoid Food Poisoning

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The right temperature to keep your refrigerator, how to properly rinse veggies and more ways to take the danger out of dining.

By Cheryl Platzman Weinstock

  • 1 Know the Right Temp
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    Keep your refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Bacteria are more likely to grow between 40 and 140 degrees, according to the National Institutes of Health.
  • 2 Shop Locally
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    "There's less of a chance for contamination when your food doesn't have to travel far," says Marion Nestle, PhD, professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University. "Some grocery-store produce can spend weeks in transit."
  • 3 Sign Up For The Store Card
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    Buying at food clubs with a membership card can mean more than just scoring great deals. In the event of a recall, your purchase will be tracked and you'll be notified directly to throw away any food that's potentially been contaminated.
  • 4 Wash Produce
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    Give an extra rinse to leafy greens, sprouts, potatoes, tomatoes, and berries. They're among the top ten contamination-prone foods linked to nearly 40 percent of all U.S. foodborne outbreaks between 1990 and 2006.
  • 5 ...But Not Meat, Poultry, or Seafood
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    You're more likely to spread bacteria, as water splashes from the sink to the counter, than you are to get rid of it. The best approach: Cook food on high heat to kill any pathogens.

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