How to keep holiday foods safe

The holidays are coming and that means celebrations with food. The last thing you want during the holidays is to have someone get a food-related illness. Here’s how to prepare, handle and store food safely.

  • Wash hands and surfaces frequently. Keep your cooking utensils clean.
  • Rinse vegetables and fruits under running water.
  • Avoid cross contamination: Keep raw meat, poultry and seafood separate.
  • Thaw food in the refrigerator, not on the kitchen counter. Plan ahead. A large frozen turkey can take days to thaw.
  • Cook foods to proper temperatures. Use a thermometer and ensure turkey is cooked to 165 degrees.
  • Do not eat raw cookie dough or use unpasteurized eggs in homemade eggnog. Uncooked flour and raw eggs can make you sick.  
  • Refrigerate perishable food within two hours. Such foods should be discarded after sitting out for four hours or more.
  • Don’t put large, hot dishes in the refrigerator. Divide up food and store in smaller containers with lids.
  • Set your refrigerator so food stays at 41 degrees or below.

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