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    Food safety is as important for the home cook as it is for the professional cook. Think about how you thaw your frozen Thanksgiving turkey. I think the most common method is to leave it out at room temperature until it has thawed. This is unsafe because it will take around eight hours to thaw. This results in the outer portion of the bird thawing first and sitting at room temperature for most of that time.

    Acceptable methods are to thaw it under refrigeration, which will take about three days OR set it under cold running water for a few hours until it is thawed. These two methods are the only methods that are considered safe when defrosting meat.

    In many professional kitchens you'll find a color-coded system for cutting boards. Red plastic cutting boards are used for raw protein, green cutting boards are used for raw produce and white cutting boards are used for ready-to-eat foods. Plastic is recommended because it doesn't harbor bacteria like wooden cutting boards do. When the plastic cutting boards become excessively scored they are replaced. The grooves that are made by cutting against a board can trap food particles, if you don't wash it well bacteria will grow. All cutting boards go into the pot washing machine to be cleaned and sanitized.

    It's a good idea to follow the same rules when you are at home. Make sure you have a cutting board that you only used for raw protein. It will help you reduce the risk of cross contamination, as well as food poisoning at home.

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