Let The Holiday Food Prep Begin
Make food safety your most important ingredient this holiday season!
You’ve heard it before, and you will hear it again- wash your hands before touching any foods. This is 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.
When storing ingredients in your fridge, keep raw foods separate from cooked and ready-to-eat foods. Storing raw foods such as the uncooked turkey on the bottom shelf of your fridge is an easy way to ensure turkey juices do not drip onto other ready-to-eat foods.
During the holidays, pot lucks and buffets are very popular. There are a few things that you should remember so the food you, your family and your friends are consuming is safe.
- 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 that has been sitting on the buffet table in the temperature danger zone (between 4°C and 60°C) for more than 2 hours.
- Every time that a buffet is re-stocked bring use a new serving dish. Do not stock up new foods to the old serving dish on the table.
- Remember to provide serving utensils for every dish on the buffet table to prevent contamination between guests.
- Sometimes you may need to remind guests of food safety and to use the serving spoons instead of their fingers or own cutlery.
The Best Part: Leftovers!
Everyone looks forward to leftovers from big feasts. Here are a few tips to remember when storing these foods for another meal:
- Do not use the foods leftover on the buffet – there is too much of a concern of contamination from temperature abuse and improper handling by the guests.
- If you have cooked or made extra foods (not yet on the buffet table), then quickly store the hot food in uncovered, shallow containers. This will help the food cool more quickly.
- The fridge can become overstocked very quickly with leftovers, be sure that the cool air in the fridge can still circulate.
- Eat the refrigerated leftovers within 2 days or freeze the food instead for a longer shelf life.
- Leftovers need to be reheated to at least 74°C (165°F) before consuming.
Keep Food Safety Top of Mind! And enjoy the Season