It’s the holiday season and many are preparing feasts for their families and friends. Although it can be a hectic time of the year, it is especially important to follow proper safety procedures to prevent a fun party from turning into a trip to the hospital. Whether you’re serving 1 person or 100 people, food safety is vital in all situations. Today we are sharing some tips on how to stay safe this holiday season.
- Always use thermometers to ensure that all food is cooked to the proper temperature. It is NEVER ok to rely on color to check doneness.
- Limit the amount of people in the kitchen. Although it is nice to have help, the more people in the kitchen the more likely bacteria can be spread through the food. Limit yourself to a few chefs and keep a watchful eye to be sure that everyone is properly handling the food.
- Wash your hands between every task! During prep you will handle many foods such as vegetables and raw meats and poultry. Prevent cross contamination by washing your hands frequently and thoroughly.
- Also to prevent cross contamination, use multiple cutting boards and knives. All kitchens should have multiple cutting boards, one for vegetables and ready-to-eat foods and another for raw meats and poultry.
- Defrost properly. The safest ways to defrost food is to place in the refrigerator, run under water, or microwave. Remember: The microwave method can only be used if the food is going to be cooked immediately after.
- Refrigerate all leftovers within 2 hours of preparation. Do not let food sit out on the counter and enter the temperature danger zone.
- Leftovers should be used within 3-4 days.
Have fun, be safe, and have a happy holidays!