Wednesday 21 November 2012

Food Safety Tips for a Festive Holiday Season

Posted at 5:07 AM

Lincoln County Health Department is reminding everyone that following basic food safety tips can help lower the likely hood that a foodborne illness becomes part of your holiday memories.

The four basic rules of food safety are:
1. Wash hands and surfaces that food touches, like cutting boards and countertops, often to kill any bacteria.
2. Keep raw meat, poultry and seafood and their juices away from ready-to-eat foods, like fruits. This helps bacteria from spreading from one food to another.
3. Cook to proper temperatures. Foods are properly cooked when they are heated for a long enough time and at a high enough temperatures to kill the bacteria that can cause you to become ill.  Most labels on meat packages state the correct temperature the meat has to be cooked to – you can use a thermometer to check.
4. Refrigerate foods right away.  This keeps most bacteria from growing.  Refrigerators should be set at 40° Fahrenheit and the freezer at 0° Fahrenheit. Check to see if your settings are working by occasionally using a thermometer.

Cut meat into small pieces and refrigerate left-over’s in separate shallow containers. Store leftovers within 2 hours of cooking, and use leftover meat within 3-4 days; gravy within 1-2 days; or freeze these foods for later use.

For unstuffed turkeys, roast at 325oF until internal temperature of meat is 165oF.  For stuffed birds, roast at 325oF until both stuffing and meat register 165oF.  All turkey must be cooked to 165oF including ground.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises people not to eat uncooked cookie dough or batters, made with raw fresh eggs. These may contain salmonella bacteria, which can cause an intestinal illness. Proper and complete cooking kills the bacteria that cause the illness.   

Homemade eggnog made with raw eggs can also contain salmonella bacteria. Cooking can kill the bacteria, but people can still become ill if the eggnog is left at room temperature for several hours before it is drank.  A safe choice is pasteurized eggnog sold in grocery dairy cases, which should be kept refrigerated.

For proper temperatures of cooked meat and for more holiday food safety tips, visit  Find us on Facebook!


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