Safe Foods for the Holidays
Holiday meals have been linked to many harmful pathogens, including Salmonella and Campylobacter. Cooking for a large crowd, whether in the home or a community kitchen, can lead to mistakes at the expense of food safety.
Follow these tips to have a safe and happy holiday season:
- Clean and sanitize utensils and work surfaces after preparing raw turkey for roasting.
- Wash your hands after handling raw meat or poultry.
- Don’t wash your turkey – research shows that when washing poultry, pathogens can be spread within 3 feet of the sink, where other foods may be prepared.
- Color is not an indicator of safety or doneness – the only way to know whether the turkey is done is with a tip-sensitive digital thermometer reading at least 165℉
- Test temperature in multiple spots, without hitting the bone – hitting the bone could give an inaccurate temperature reading
- Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours of taking it out of the oven – Turkey should be cooled to 41℉ quickly. This is best accomplished by slicing it and putting it in small re-sealable bags and laying them flat in the refrigerator. Some spore-forming bacteria will grow and form toxins if kept at room temperature for too long.