Food Safety Tips for the Holidays
Trinity County Public Health reminds consumers to use safe food preparation and storage measures to prevent foodborne illness. Bacteria that can be found in foods such as meat and poultry may cause illness if they are insufficiently cooked, inadequately cooled or improperly handled.
About 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths in the U.S. each year are related to foodborne diseases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Clean, Separate, Cook, Chill
Foodborne diseases can be prevented using these four steps:
- Wash hands the right way—for 20 seconds with plain soap and running water.
Washing your hands the right way can stop the spread of illness-causing bacteria.
- Use separate cutting boards and plates for produce, meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.
Placing ready-to-eat food on a surface that held raw meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs can spread bacteria and make you sick. But stopping cross-contamination is simple.
- Use a food thermometer.
Cooked food is safe only after it’s been heated to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria. Color and texture alone won’t tell you whether your food is done. Instead, use a food thermometer to be sure.
- Refrigerate perishable foods within two hours.
Cold temperatures slow the growth of illness causing bacteria. So it’s important to chill food promptly and properly.
Check Your Steps (Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill) (U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services)
Let's Talk Turkey—A Consumer Guide to Safely Roasting a Turkey (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture)