Spread Holiday Cheer, Not Foodborne Illness

By Public Relations Specialist Esther Robertson

Many holiday traditions include a family dinner or sharing sweets. While cooking

To prevent foodborne illness, cook turkey
to an internal temperature of 165 F.

and baking, it is important to practice food safety to prevent food poisoning. Here are some precautions to take as your family prepares feasts and treats.

• Wash hands with soap and water before and during food prep, and before eating.
• Thaw turkey safely in the refrigerator, or use the cold-water method. To thaw in a refrigerator, allow about 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds. For cold water thawing allow about 30 minutes per pound.
• Keep meats, seafood, and eggs separate from all other foods in the refrigerator to prevent cross-contamination. Keep foods in sealed bags or containers to prevent juices from dripping onto other foods.
• Be sure to cook meats thoroughly. Poultry should have an internal temperature of 165 F, beef should have an internal temperature of 145 F, fresh pork should cook to 145 F, and pre-cooked pork should reheat to 165 F.
• Harmful bacteria can grow rapidly between 40 F and 140 F. Any leftovers should be refrigerated within two hours of serving.
• Steer clear of tasting any raw cookie dough. Raw flour or eggs may contain harmful germs, like E. coli and salmonella.

To learn more about food safety, cooking tips, and the Dinner Makes a Difference learning circle, contact Southcentral Foundation Health Education at (907) 729-2689.