Enjoying a holiday dinner with family is a traditional part of the season.
SMC Director of Food and Nutrition Services Andrew Aquino said to follow these simple steps to avoid food poisoning or foodborne illnesses during the celebration.
“Food poisoning can occur when a holiday buffet is left sitting out too long, or meats are not cooked thoroughly,” Aquino said. “Keep out of the danger zone. Bacteria can grow quickly between 40 and 140 degrees (Fahrenheit). After food is cooked, be sure to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.”
Follow these tips to keep food safe and loved ones well during the holidays:
- Keep It Clean — Clean hands play an important role in preventing the spread of bacteria while preparing food. Wash hands for 20 seconds before, during and after meal prep.
- Heat It Up — Meats and other foods must be cooked thoroughly to destroy any bacteria. For example, beef must reach 145 degrees and poultry 165 to be safe.
- Cook Then Eat — Do not eat raw cookie dough that contains raw eggs that could carry germs like Salmonella. Always baked thoroughly before enjoying.
- Two Hour Rule — Perishable food left out longer than two hours become vulnerable to bacteria growth. Place leftovers in shallow containers and refrigerate as soon as possible.