A study was recently done by the CDC concerning food safety in kitchens. It was admittedly not a well-researched or complete study, but it polled thousands of people concerning their behavior in their kitchens and during food preparation. The result was that the majority of people in the greater Los Angeles area do not handle their food properly, but the corresponding restaurants would receive a letter grade of B or higher. What are some food safety practices which you can employ?
Meat. Always wash your cutting board and hands after handling raw meat. Do not allow raw meat to touch any surface which is left unwashed. Refrigerate meat after eating and after cooking. Do not allow meat to sit out on the counter, especially if it is uncooked. Keep all meat sealed in the fridge and throw out old meat if not used for two weeks. For longer periods of time, freeze your meat.
Eggs, Cream and Mayonnaise. These foods can get highly bacterial if allowed to sit warm. Keep these foods cold and sealed at all times and do not eat leftover picnic remnants with mayonnaise in them, because they were warm even for a short period of time. Always test your eggs before putting them into baking by breaking them into a bowl first. This will also allow you to fish out any pieces of shell which might fall in. Rinse your hands after handling eggs, since the surface of the eggshell can harbor bacteria, even salmonella.
Fish. Always sear and cook your fish enough so that any germs are killed. Be careful when eating shellfish because they are highly scavenger, making them likely to soak up viruses and poisons. Pan fry your fish lightly before you grill so that you are sure of cooking it all the way through, filleting first if necessary.
Cleanliness and Storage. Always keep your dishes, counters and table thoroughly washed and dried. Be aware of rodents or pests which invade your kitchen, and rinse your dishes appropriately before each use if necessary. Do not store raw meat with other foods, but keep it separate and sealed off. Do not mix meats during storage. Keep your refrigerator at a maximum temperature of 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure that everything in your freezer is frozen hard. Do not restrict air flow in your fridge or freezer because that will stop the ability to cool and your box will warm up quickly.
These are basic guidelines for food safety. More detailed guidelines can be found by searching for proper safety concerning that particular food. Disease and viruses can be caused by improper food handling so make this a priority!