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Holiday Food safety

By on December 18, 2013

Did you know that about one in six Americans will get sick from food poisoning every year. And thousands of them get ill from holiday food. Here is a super-sized list of tips to keep you and your family safe.

  • Wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling any food.
  • Wash food-contact surfaces (cutting boards, countertops) with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item.
  • Rinse fruits and vegetables thoroughly under cool running water.
  • Do not rinse raw meat and poultry before cooking in order to avoid spreading bacteria to areas around the sink and countertops.
  • Use a food thermometer to make sure meat, poultry, and fish are cooked to a safe internal temperature.
  • Bring sauces, soups, and gravies to a rolling boil when reheating.
  • Cook eggs until the yolk and white are firm.
  • When making your own eggnog or other recipe calling for raw eggs, use pasteurized shell eggs, liquid or frozen pasteurized egg products, or powdered egg whites.
  • Don’t eat uncooked cookie dough, which may contain raw eggs.
  • Refrigerate leftovers and takeout foods—and any type of food that should be refrigerated, including pie—within two hours.
  • Thaw frozen food safely in the refrigerator, under cold running water, or in the microwave—never at room temperature.
  • Cook food thawed in cold water or in the microwave immediately.

And if you are thawing frozen food, allow enough time to properly thaw food. For example, a 20-pound turkey needs four to five days to thaw completely in the refrigerator.

Don’t taste food that looks or smells suspicious. When in doubt, throw it out. Leftovers should be used within three to four days, unless frozen.

And finally for the turkey lovers; insert a food thermometer into the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. The turkey is safe when the temperature reaches 165°F. If the turkey is stuffed, the temperature of the stuffing should be 165°F.


These holiday food safety tips came from foodsafety.gov.

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