Holiday Food Safety
Very soon, families will be gathering to celebrate the holiday season with good food (and lots of it). With Thanksgiving just a week away, we want to share some very important food safety reminders as you plan your holiday meal.
If you are the cook/host this year, take some time before you even begin cooking to get your kitchen holiday ready.
Here are some pointers:
- Use hot water and soap to clean the sink, counters, cutting boards, pans, knives, thermometers and other utensils and serving pieces.
- Make sure you have a food thermometer!
- Clear a large enough space on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator to accommodate the turkey.
- Check the temperature of your refrigerator. It should be 40 °F or below as measured with an appliance thermometer.
Cooking a Turkey for Thanksgiving? Here is a great how to from the Partnership for Food Safety Education. They break down everything including handling the bird, the proper cooking times and how best to handle all those leftovers… (I assume my family is not the only one that buys a 16 lb. bird to feed a family of 5?)
Another important thing to consider is the length of time food sits out at a party or event. Too many people make the mistake of letting food sit for several hours, putting the safety of their guests in jeopardy.
Keep these additional tips in mind:
- Perishable food shouldn’t be left out of the refrigerator for more than two hours.
- Remember to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Party hosts can help keep cold food chilled and safe by setting serving containers on top of ice.
- Leftovers should generally be eaten within three to four days.
- Leftovers should be reheated to 165 degrees and liquids should be brought to a boil.
We hope you have a very happy, healthy holiday season. For more information, visit holidayfoodsafety.org.
Photo Courtesy of Bridget Coila via Flickr