As the holidays approach we like to celebrate by entertaining friends and family, throwing parties, and preparing feasts. From the buffet table to the office party, food moves center stage throughout the holiday season. Be sure to keep food safe by following basic food safety steps.
Wash hands and food-contact surfaces often. Bacteria can spread throughout the kitchen and get onto cutting boards, knives, sponges, and counter tops.
Separate: Don't cross-contaminate--don't let bacteria spread from one food product to another. This is especially true for raw meat, poultry and seafood. Keep these foods and their juices away from ready-to-eat foods.
Cook to proper temperatures. Foods are properly cooked when they are heated for a long enough time and at a high enough temperature to kill the harmful bacteria that cause food borne illness.
Refrigerate promptly. Refrigerate foods quickly keeps most harmful bacteria from growing and multiplying. Refrigerators should be set at 40 F and the freezer at 0 F, and the accuracy of the settings should be checked occasionally with a thermometer.
Source: U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services