Food Safety Tips for the Holidays

Roughly one in six Americans will suffer from a foodborne illness this year.

While preparing your holiday meals, follow the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) food preparation safety tips. These steps will help keep bacteria away from food, utensils, and yourself and lessen the chances of food poisoning in your home:

  1. Wash: Clean hands and surfaces often. Illness-causing bacteria can collect on hands, utensils and surface areas. Also, wash all fruits and vegetables, but not meats.
  2. Separate: Don’t cross-contaminate foods. Raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs can still spread harmful bacteria to ready-to-eat items if they aren’t kept separate. Use one cutting board for fresh produce and another for raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
  3. Cook: Use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature of cooked foods. Check temperatures in several places to make sure that meat, poultry, seafood, eggs (or dishes containing eggs) are cooked to safe minimum internal temperatures as shown in the Safe Cooking Temperatures Chart.
  4. Chill: Illness-causing bacteria can grow in perishable foods in just two hours. Refrigerate foods promptly and properly, and throw out food before it begins to spoil.

For more food safety tips, and some delicious holiday recipes, see the latest online edition of the You Should Know newsletter at http://letamericaknow.com/view_newsletter_ysk.php?memberid=22515&orderid=872&newsletterid=354&issueid=1611&subscriberid=749173