Keep Food Safety in Mind during the Upcoming Holidays

Published 2:44 pm Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Staff Reports

Everyone looks forward to sitting down to a delicious feast with family and friends during the holidays. Digging into that beautiful turkey and stuffing, and all our favorites is what some look forward to all year! So, don’t be one of many Americans who will get sick from food poisoning.  Follow these simple steps and have a safe holiday!

  • Keep it clean, handwashing is the first step in protection. It’s also the best way to keep uninvited guests like bacteria out of your kitchen. Make sure food preparation surfaces and utensils are clean before cooking. Using a sanitizing wipe is an easy way to make sure no bacteria is present, and you’ll want to do this again after handling raw turkey.
  • Separate, don’t cross contaminate foods and surfaces.  Use a separate cutting board for raw meat, poultry, or seafood. Use another for any foods like vegetables and salad that won’t be cooked before serving.  Use hot soapy water to wash any plates, utensils, or cutting boards that touched the raw meat, and eggs before using them again.  Many people who wash or rinse poultry cross-contaminate other food items being prepared. And remember that brining meat or poultry doesn’t kill bacteria.
  • Cook foods to the proper temperature; that’s the only way to kill bacteria. When you think your food is done, place a food thermometer in the thickest part of the food, making sure not to touch bone, fat, or gristle.
  • Chill leftovers.  Always refrigerate perishable foods within two hours: bacteria can grow rapidly in the “danger zone” between 41°F and 135°F. Also, when serving, keep hot food hot, and cold food cold.  And remember to thaw meat, poultry, or seafood in the refrigerator, not on the counter.  That goes for marinating foods, too.

Dessert is by far the favorite of most, so remember to never eat raw dough or batter when making cookies, cakes, and other baked goodies. Dough and batter made with flour or eggs can contain germs like E.coli and salmonella.

Stay safe this holiday and enjoy the fruits of your labor! For more information on holiday cooking and food safety, visit www.foodsafety.gov.