Food Safety

Food safety refers to the conditions and practices that preserve the quality of food to prevent contamination and food-borne illnesses.

  1. Handle Foods Safely

Handle Foods Safely

Although most people recover from food-borne illness within a short period of time, some can develop chronic, severe, or even life-threatening health problems. In addition, some people are at a higher risk for developing food-borne illness, including pregnant women, young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems. To keep your family safe from food poisoning, follow the Four Steps to Food Safety.  Visit for additional information. 

Know the Symptoms

When certain disease-causing bacteria or pathogens contaminate food, they can cause food-borne illness, often referred to as "food poisoning." Consuming food-borne bacteria can cause illness within 1 to 3 days of consumption. However, sickness can also occur within 20 minutes or up to 6 weeks later. 

Symptoms of food-borne illness can include:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal pain
  • flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, and body ache

Is It Done Yet?

You can't tell just by looking! Use a food thermometer to be sure. For more information regarding the safe minimum internal temperatures recommended by the USDA, visit

Safe Recipes

Partnership for Food Safety Education recipes build in food safety and hand hygiene steps. Find safe recipes at



Food Safety Before, During and After  Severe Storms and Power Outages

USDA's Guide to Food Safety During Severe Storms, Hurricanes, and Power Outages

English Brochure

Spanish Brochure

Know how to keep food safe before, during and after emergencies. Follow these tips to help minimize food loss and reduce your risk of food-borne illness. 

Food Safety for People with Weakened Immune Systems

If you have health problems or take medications that weaken your body's ability to fight germs and sickness, you are more likely to get a food-borne illness. 

This includes people who have:

  • diabetes
  • liver or kidney disease
  • HIV or AIDS
  • autoimmune diseases
  • organ transplants
  • a need for chemotherapy or radiation therapy

Report Food Poisoning

If you think you have food poisoning or an allergic reaction to food, contact your doctor. If it's an emergency, call 911. If you believe you or someone you know has become ill from eating a certain food, contact us

Where to Report a Problem with Food

Meat, Poultry, or Processed Egg ProductsCall the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 888-MPHotline (888-674-6854) or report a claim online here
Food (Except Meat, Poultry, or Processed Egg Products)Call the FDA Main Emergency Number at 866-300-4374 
Pet FoodYou can report complaints about a pet food electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal or contacting NJ's FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator at 973-331-4998
Restaurant FoodContact:

Inspector Lewis
201-568-3450 x510
Email Inspector Lewis

Inspector Nunez
201-568-3450 x517
Email Inspector Nunez