Food Safety Tips for the Holidays (PDF)

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  • 7/29/2019 Food Safety Tips for the Holidays (PDF)


    1 / FDA Consume r Hea l th In o rma t ion / U .S . Food and D rug Admin i s t r a t ion NOVEMBER 2011

    Consumer Health





    4.Chill: Refrigeratefoodsquickly!

    Typical symptoms o oodborne ill-ness are vomiting, diarrhea, and u-likesymptoms, which can start anywhererom hours to days ater contaminatedood or drinks are consumed.

    The symptoms usually are not long-lasting in healthy peoplea ew hoursor a ew daysand usually go away

    without medical treatment. But ood-borne illness can be severe and evenlie-threatening to anyone, especiallythose most at risk: older adults infants and young children pregnant women people with HIV/AIDS, cancer, or

    any condition that weakens theirimmune system

    people who take medicines that sup-press the immune system; or exam-ple, some medicines or rheumatoid


    Combating bacteria, viruses, para-sites, and other contaminants in ourood supply is a high priority or theFood and Drug Administration. Butconsumers have a role to play, too,especially when it comes to sae oodhandling practices in the home.

    The good news is that practicingour basic ood saety measures can

    Parties, family dinners,

    and other gatherings

    where food is served are

    all part of the holiday cheer.

    But the merriment can changeto misery if food makes you or

    others ill.

    Food Safety Tips for

    Healthy Holidays

    help prevent oodborne illness, saysMarjorie Davidson, a consumer edu-cator at FDA.

    1. Clean:The frst rule o sae oodpreparation in the home is to keepeverything clean. Wash hands with warm water and

    soap or 20 seconds beore and ater

    handling any ood. For children,this means the time it takes to singHappy Birthday twice, says David-son.

    Wash food-contact surfaces (cuttingboards, dishes, utensils, countertops)with hot, soapy water ater preparingeach ood item and beore going onto the next item.

  • 7/29/2019 Food Safety Tips for the Holidays (PDF)


    2 / FDA Consume r Hea l th In o rma t ion / U .S . Food and D rug Admin i s t r a t ion NOVEMBER 2011

    Consumer Health

    Rinse fruits and vegetables thor-oughly under cool running waterand use a produce brush to removesurace dirt.

    Do not rinse raw meat and poultrybefore cooking. Washing these foodsmakes it more likely or bacteria tospread to areas around the sink andcountertops, says Davidson.

    2. Separate: Dont give bacteria theopportunity to spread rom one oodto another (cross-contamination). Keep raw eggs, meat, poultry, sea-

    ood, and their juices away romfoods that wont be cooked. Take thisprecaution while shopping in the

    store, when storing in the rerigeratorat home, and while preparing meals. Consider using one cutting board

    only or oods that will be cooked(such as raw meat, poultry, and sea-ood) and another one or those thatwill not (such as raw fruits and veg-etables).

    Keep fruits and vegetables that willbe eaten raw separate rom otheroods such as raw meat, poultry, orseaoodand rom kitchen utensilsused or those products.

    Do not put cooked meat or other foodthat is ready to eat on an unwashedplate that has held any raw eggs, meat,poultry, seaood, or their juices.

    3. Cook: Food is saely cooked whenit reaches a high enough internaltemperature to kill harmul bacteria. Color is not a reliable indicator of

    doneness, says Davidson. Use a foodthermometer to make sure meat,poultry, and fsh are cooked to a saeinternal temperature. To check a tur-

    key or saety, insert a ood thermom-eter into the innermost part o thethigh and wing and the thickest parto the breast. The turkey is sae whenthe temperature reaches 165F. If theturkey is stued, the temperature othe stufng should be 165F. (Pleaseread on or more on stufng.)

    Bring sauces, soups, and gravies to arolling boil when reheating.

    Cook eggs until the yolk and white

    are firm. When makingyour own eggnog or other recipe call-ing or raw eggs, use pasteurized shelleggs, liquid or rozen pasteurized eggproducts, or powdered egg whites.

    Dont eat uncooked cookie dough,which may contain raw eggs.

    4. Chill: Refrigerate foods quicklybecause harmul bacteria grow rapidlyat room temperature. Refrigerate leftovers and takeout

    oodsand any type o ood thatshould be rerigeratedwithin twohours. That includes pumpkin pie!

    Set your refrigerator at or below 40Fand the reezer at 0F. Check bothperiodically with an appliance ther-

    mometer. Never defrost food at room tempera-

    ture. Food can be derosted saely inthe rerigerator, under cold runningwater, or in the microwave. Foodthawed in cold water or in the micro-wave should be cooked immediately.

    Allow the correct amount of time toproperly thaw ood. For example,a 20-pound turkey needs our tofve days to thaw completely whenthawed in the rerigerator.

    Dont taste food that looks or smells

    questionable. Davidson says, A goodrule to ollow is, when in doubt,throw it out.

    Leftovers should be used within threeto our days.

    Use care with stufngIn its Holiday Food Safety SuccessKit, the Partnership for Food SafetyEducation (at

    Whether it is cooked inside or out-side the bird, all stufng and dress-ing must be cooked to a minimumtemperature o 165 F. For optimumsaety, cooking your stufng in a cas-

    serole dish is recommended.Stuffing should be prepared andstued into the turkey immediatelybefore its placed in the oven

    Mix wet and dry ingredients or thestufng separately and combine justbeore using

    The turkey should be stued loosely,about 3/4 cup stufng per pound ofturkey

    Any extra stufng should be baked ina greased casserole dish

    The U.S. Department of Agricultureoers more inormation on stufngsafety at its Turkey Basics Web page(

    Information on food safety isavailable by phone at:

    The FDA Food Information Line1-888-SAFEFOOD (1-888-723-3366)

    The USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline

    1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854)TTY 1-800-256-7072

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