Food safety tips for the holidays

Remember to clean utensils and cutting boards before and after contact with raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.

By Registered Dietitian Carrie Dvorak, MS, RD, LDN

The holiday season and food preparation go hand-in-hand. From baking the perfect pie to dressing the turkey, it’s the time of year where friends and family come together in the kitchen to prepare delicious food. There are several things you and your family can do to stay safe while readying food items. When cooking, keep these tips in mind to keep your family safe from food poisoning.

  • Clean hands, utensils, and cutting boards before and after contact with raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.
  • Keep raw meat and poultry separate from foods that are not being cooked.
  • Use a food thermometer when cooking. You cannot tell if food is cooked safely by how it looks only
  • Cool leftovers and takeout food within two hours and keep the refrigerator at 40°F or below.
  • Rinse fruits and vegetables, even those with skins or rinds that are not eaten, with tap water.
  • Thawing meat in the refrigerator is important. Never thaw meat on the counter. If you are in a rush, thaw meat in the microwave or by running it in its package under cold water. Never soak raw meat in the sink to let it thaw.
  • When in doubt, throw it out. We naturally hate to waste food but don’t be tempted to hold onto food if you believe it might have become spoiled.

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Cambridge Health Alliance

Contributed By: Cambridge Health Alliance

Cambridge Health Alliance is an academic community health care system committed to serving all members of our communities. We have expertise in primary care, mental health and substance abuse, and caring for diverse and complex populations. CHA patients receive high quality care in convenient neighborhood locations, and have seamless access to advanced care through CHA’s affiliation with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. With over 140,000 patients in Cambridge, Somerville Everett and Boston’s Metro North, CHA is working hard to offer the integrated services its communities need now, and in the future.