Monday, December 21, 2015

5 Tips for Safer Holiday Food

One of the most common things to do during the holiday season is prepare food. Here are some tips for safer holiday food.

1. Wash your hands thoroughly and often.
Raw meat and eggs can contain bacteria that can make us sick. Washing your hands with soap and warm water will help reduce the risk of bacteria spreading. Frequent hand-washing also helps reduce the spread of other germs and tiny bits of toxic chemicals that get on our hands as we go about our daily routines.

2. Use a meat thermometer.
Ham, turkeys, and other types of meat are popular this time of year and it’s easy to underestimate how long they should be cooked. Use a meat thermometer to cook meat to its safe minimum cooking temperature. Kitchen thermometers make a great holiday gift!

3. Refrigerate promptly.
Bacteria can grow quickly on cooling food, especially meat. Try to put everything in the fridge as soon as you’re done using it so that bacteria don’t have a chance to grow.

4. Separate, don’t contaminate!
When preparing food, designate one cutting board for meat (including poultry, seafood and eggs) and one for everything else. This will prevent any of the bacteria on meat from getting into other food. Here are some other tips for preventing cross-contamination.

5. Use glass or ceramic containers to store food.
Plastic containers contain phthalates and BPA chemicals linked to long term illness. Even containers that are BPA Free can still contain other chemicals with health concerns. Using glass or ceramic containers to store food reduces exposure to these potentially harmful chemicals.

For more information on foodborne illness visit the CDC’s website.

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