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Food Safety for the Holidays

By Kristin Keith

 

Make an effort to sanitize all contact areas, and wash your hands while preparing meals to reduce the risks of food-borne illness by 75 percent.

 

Nov. 27, 2002 (Lexington, Ky.) -- Make sure you aren’t serving bacteria to your guests at your holiday feasts this year.

Sandra Bastin, associate professor of Extension with Family and Consumer Sciences in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, cites some very simple rules to follow to ensure your holiday feasts are healthy and safe.

  • Make an effort to sanitize all contact areas, and wash your hands while preparing meals to reduce the risks of food-borne illness by 75 percent.
  • Keep raw meats separate, and be sure not to cut cheeses and salads on the same cutting boards as meats.
  • Use a meat thermometer to be sure that light meat is cooked to 170 degrees and dark meat to 180 degrees. Place the thermometer in the thickest part of the meat, making sure it doesn’t touch a bone.
  • Keep hot foods hot, and cold foods cold. Keep mayonnaise-based salads and other foods like raw meat and dairy products cold as long as possible.
  • Food should not be left at room temperature for more than two hours. Refrigerate leftovers promptly.

Following these rules is the best way to ensure that you and your guests fully enjoy holiday feasts.


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