Holiday Food Safety Tips
This is the time of the year we share with family and friends. Sometimes we have unexpected help from children, family, and friends. It is nice to share the kitchen but not germs! Here are some ideas on how to prevent contamination and food borne illness at this special time of year.
- Wash hands with soap and water at the beginning and end of a task. Hand sanitizers are not the best way to the get rid of dirt or germs; hand washing is.
- Clean all kitchen surfaces with soap and water and sanitize.
- Have different cutting boards for meats and vegetables.
- Use separate spoons and forks to stir, taste, and serve food.
- Always use a thermometer; insert in the thickest part of meat or prepared dish and cook to the following internal temperature, with three minutes rest time:
- Beef, pork lamb, veal: 145°F + 3 minutes rest time
- Poultry (whole and ground): 165°F
- Eggs: 160°F or until yolk and white are firm
- Stuffing: 165°F
- Ground beef: 160°F
- Place cooked food in a clean container and never baste food with the uncooked marinade.
- Do not overcook meats or char (burn) them. Cooking at high temperatures can lead to carcinogen formation. Marinating may reduce the formation of these compounds.
- Defrost frozen meats in the refrigerator, never on the kitchen counter.
- Refrigerate leftovers within two hours.
- Store leftovers in shallow containers, no more than 2 inches deep.
- Keep food in a clean refrigerator under 40°F (0°F or less in the freezer)
Chemicals in Meat Cooked at High Temperatures and Cancer Risk, National Cancer Institute, at the National Institute of Health. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/cooked-meats
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Food Safety http://www.eatright.org/Public/list.aspx?TaxID=6442452103 http://www.eatright.org/public/content.aspx?id=6377
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