Safe food handling is always a good idea. But during pregnancy, you are especially at risk for food-borne illnesses. Use these food storage guidelines to help keep your food (and your family) safe.


Safe food handling tips

Wash hands using warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds

Before handling food:

  • After handling raw meat, poultry, eggs or lunch meat
  • After using the bathroom
  • After changing your child's diaper
  • After being in public places
  • After playing with children or pets

Wash utensils, dishes and cutting boards thoroughly after each use. Especially after they've come in contact with raw eggs, meat, seafood or poultry. Designate one cutting board for raw foods only.

Wash kitchen surfaces after food preparation.

Clean your fridge frequently with hot, soapy water.


  • Avoid spreading germs by keeping raw poultry, meat and seafood separated from other foods in your shopping cart.
  • Double-wrap meat and poultry in your fridge or freezer so they don't drip.


  • Keep your fridge below 40° F and your freezer below 0° F.
  • Chill or freeze perishable foods within 2 hours.
  • Store meats and poultry below fresh fruits, vegetables and uncooked foods.
  • Thaw foods inside the fridge, not on the countertop.
  • Don't store highly perishable foods like milk or eggs on the fridge door. The door doesn't stay as cold as the rest of the fridge.


  • Use a meat thermometer.
  • Cook meats thoroughly. To reduce dangerous bacteria, reheat ready-to-eat meat and poultry to between 145°F and 180°F.
  • Cook fish until the flesh turns opaque.
  • Cook eggs for at least 3 minutes. Never use cracked eggs.
  • Rotate your dish while reheating food in a microwave, so no cold spots remain.
  • Obey expiration dates.

»To Learn More, Visit the Partnership for Food Safety Education