September 21, 2018

More Holiday Food Safety Advice from the FDA

The FDA is offering holiday food safety advice to help keep you and your family safe and healthy during the season. They have several food safety videos, a food safety success kit, and information about ready-to-cook foods, and general tips.

Christmas table settingIf you are hosting a party or a meal for anyone in a high risk group, it’s critical that you are very careful about food safety. Those people include older adults, infants, young children, pregnant women, people with any chronic illness such as HIV/AIDS and cancer, and those who take medication to suppress their immune systems. Following the four basic food safety measures to the letter can help prevent foodborne illness.

Always keep everything clean, separate foods to avoid cross-contamination, cook foods to a safe final internal temperature, and chill perishable foods quickly. Foods should not be left out of refrigeration longer than two hours. Add make sure your fridge’s temperature is 40 degrees F or lower.

Undercooked and uncooked eggs may be served this time of year. Avoid undercooked and uncooked eggs. If you have an old family recipe that uses uncooked eggs, you may be able to update it by adding eggs to the liquid called for in a recipe, then heating that mixture to 165 degrees F. This will kill bacteria but the eggs will still work in the recipe.

And be sure that any dairy you serve during the holidays is pasteurized. Check the label before you buy. Those in high risk groups, especially pregnant women and the elderly, can become very ill from Listeria, E. coli, and Salmonella that may be found in unpasteurized products.

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