Food safety was top of mind this summer at the CNE with the outbreak caused by Staphylococcus aureus. It was in the maple bacon jam, a garnish on the more than ever infamous Cronut Burger. Celebrating the Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend, there are a few things that you should remember so the food you, your family and your friends are consuming is safe.

My top 3 Food Safety Tips for the upcoming feast:

1) Wash your hands

You’ve heard it before; wash your hands before touching any foods. This is a simple to keep germs from spreading to food.Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.  Remember to keep your hands clean throughout the preparation process, especially between handling raw and cooked foods. Provide serving utensils for every dish on the table to prevent guests from using their fingers.

2) Temperature Control

Cook food to the safe internal temperature and serve it immediately after it has reached this temperature.

  • Keep hot foods hot (at least 60°C /140°F and above).  This can be done by using warming trays, chafing dishes or crock pots.
  • Keep cold foods cold (at or below 4°C /40°F). This can be done by putting the serving trays on crushed ice.
  • Throw away any food at that has been sitting on the table in the temperature danger zone (between 4°C and 60°C) for more than 2 hours.

3) The Best Part: Leftovers!

  • Everyone looks forward to leftovers from big feasts.  After the foods have been served, quickly store in uncovered, shallow containers. This will help the food cool more quickly. Then cover and store in the refrigerator.
  • Consume the refrigerated leftovers within 2 to 3 days or freeze the food instead. The fridge can become overstocked very quickly with leftovers, be sure that the cool air can still circulate.
  • Heat – hot leftovers to at least 74°C (165°F) before eating.

Remember – “When it doubt, throw it out!”

Wishing you a Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving