Friday, December 19, 2014

Healthy Holidays: Foodborne illness – Bah, humbug!

Nothing ruins the holiday festivities quite like becoming ill from a delicious holiday feast. It just seems so wrong! It doesn’t have to happen. You can take steps to prevent foodborne illness. Just remember: Clean, Separate, Cook, Chill

Maintain a clean space for handling food. Not just counter tops - this means that cutting boards, dishes, utensils and all hands that touch food and any kitchen items are clean. Discard paper towels or put cloth wipes through the laundry after wiping countertops, especially after cleaning up raw meat juice, otherwise you will be spreading germs around. When someone leaves the kitchen and comes back, be sure they wash their hands again before handling food.

Raw meats should always be separated from other foods. This includes in your shopping cart and bags and in storage. Raw meats from the grocery store often leak through the wrapping. Transfer them to a container that will prevent leaks better, like a zip sealing plastic bag, and keep a plate underneath to catch any possible leaks. Use separate cutting boards and dishes for raw meat.

A food thermometer is your friend. Cook food to a safe internal temperature.

- Turkey, chicken, and poultry: 165° F
- Roasts, steaks, or chops of beef, pork, veal, and lamb: 145° F
- Ground beef, pork, hamburger or egg dishes: 160° F
- Fish: 145° F
- Keep hot foods hot – above 135° F.
- Keep cold foods cold – below 41° F.
- Reheat leftovers to 165° F.

Refrigerate foods right away. Don’t leave it out to cool down. Cut food up and let it cool in open containers in the fridge. Once they are cool, put the lids on.

Here is a great video about Clean, Separate, Cook, ChillFollow best food handling practices and do your best to keep everyone saying “Happy Holidays!” and not “Bah, humbug!”

No comments:

Post a Comment