Search Results for: Holiday food safety
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Five Food Safety Tips for Holiday Buffets
The holiday season reigns in terms of total grocery sales in the United States.* This abundance of food going home with people indicates a busy December of food preparation and entertaining.
The Partnership for Food Safety Education offers five key ways to keep unwanted germs away from your holiday buffet:
Keep a clean scene
Before cooking and after handling raw ingredients such as meat, poultry, eggs and flour, wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. It sounds simple but recent USDA research found that 97% of people are failing to wash their hands properly. Wash your cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and counter tops with hot soapy water after preparing each food item and before you go on to the next food. This short, animated video shows how to “Keep a Clean Scene” at home when preparing meals.
Thaw foods safely
Thaw frozen ingredients in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave. For safety, never thaw food at room temperature!
Keep hot foods hot
Place hot foods in chafing dishes, crock pots or warming trays at 140 °F or warmer. Bacteria can multiple rapidly between 40 °F and 140 °F. Use a food thermometer to monitor the temperature and ensure food is being held at 140 °F or higher on your buffet.
Keep cold foods cold
During your event, arrange and serve perishable foods on several small platters. Put one platter on the buffet table and store the other platters in the fridge. Swap them out every two hours. Nest platters in bowls of ice on the buffet table.
Handle leftovers safely
Divide large portions of leftovers like beef, turkey, gravy, dressing, stews and casseroles into smaller portions in shallow containers. Refrigerate leftovers within two hours. A constant home refrigerator temp. of 40 °F or below is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. Use an appliance thermometer to be sure your refrigerator temperature is at 40 °F or below. Eat leftovers within 3-4 days.
To help you Fight BAC!® (harmful bacteria) this holiday season, we’ve created a free flyer on food safety for parties and buffets and an infographic on frozen foods.
Follow the Partnership for Food Safety Education on Facebook at @FightBAC and on Twitter at @FightBAC. More food safety resources are available free at StoryofYourDinner.org.
The Story of Your Dinner campaign is supported by Cargill, Costco Wholesale and the Frozen Food Foundation. See our video in English and Spanish at StoryofYourDinner.org.
*November and December reign in terms of total grocery sales with $52.5 billion an $52.7 billion in sales respectively according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
Shawnte Loeri is the Communications Associate with the Partnership for Food Safety Education. She can be reached at (202) 220-0705 or email@example.com.
5 Top Food Safety Tips for the Holidays and Every Day
Mike Robach, Vice President, Corporate Food Safety and Regulatory Affairs, Cargill
Holiday parties are a staple this time of year. I’m in the midst of planning several for friends and family right now. With my job focused on preventing foodborne illnesses, I believe one of the worst things that could happen to any host is to spark an illness due to unsafe food handling techniques.
Arming yourself with the knowledge to safely prepare your holiday spread doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming. In fact, it’s as simple as Cyber Monday shopping—it can be done from your couch, in your pajamas. Tips for safe food handling are at your fingertips when you visit sites such as the CDC or the USDA. You can even find specifics for the food you are preparing, from the safe handling of turkey to beef to eggs.
For quick reference, here are the top five tips I remind my family of every time we are in the kitchen preparing a meal:
1.Clean hands and surfaces often—Wash all utensils and preparation surfaces, including cutting boards, with hot soapy water. Use warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds to wash hands before and after handling food.
2. Separate foods—Don’t transfer bacteria from one food to another. Keep raw meat, poultry and seafood away from other foods that won’t be cooked. Remember to re-wash all surfaces—and your hands—after handling raw foods.
3. Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables—Rub firm-skinned produce, like cucumbers and apples, under tap water. Rinse all produce before peeling, as microorganisms on the surface can be easily transferred with a peeler or knife blade. Pat dry with a paper towel.
4. Cook to safe temperatures—A host’s best friend is their thermometer. Use it consistently to ensure foods reach a temperature that kills harmful bacteria that can cause illness. The Partnership for Food Safety Education has an excellent list of safe internal temperatures.
5. Know how long leftovers can last—Refrigerate leftovers as soon as possible, in shallow containers, so they cool off more quickly. Shelf life of leftovers varies by food—but most are only good for three to four days. Use the USDA’s AskKaren service 24/7 via computer or mobile device to ask how long your specific leftover will remain fresh.
Check off this list, visit those websites and feel pride—and confidence—that your guests will leave with full stomachs and happy hearts, but not with a foodborne illness.
About the blogger
Mike Robach serves as vice president for corporate food safety, quality and regulatory affairs at Cargill. Mike has worked closely with the USDA and FDA regarding food safety policy, HACCP, and regulatory reform based on science. He has also worked with the World Organization of Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on harmonized animal health and food safety standards. He is the current Chairman of the Board of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).
Baking & Flour Food Safety
Baking & Flour Food Safety
The Partnership for Food Safety Education recommends people not eat raw cake batter, cookie dough and other doughs, whether they come from a mix or are made from scratch.
Flour and other ingredients can contain harmful bacteria that are only killed during the cooking process. Children are especially vulnerable to serious foodborne illness.
Join our email list to stay up to date on home food safety.
Download Baking Tips Infographic
Protect Your Child: Food Safety Shareable Graphics
Say No to Raw Dough (shareable graphic)
Holiday Baking & Food Safety Recorded Webinar
Presenters: Donald Kautter, Senior Advisor/Consumer Safety Officer with the FDA; Sharon Davis, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Home Baking Association
Engaging Baking and Flour Food Safety
Session from the 2021 Consumer Food Safety Education Conference entitled “Consumer and Industry Baking and Flour Food Safety Engagement” presented by:
- Sharon Davis, Home Baking Association
- Dale Nellor, North American Millers’ Association
- Dave Katzke and Kelly Stevens, General Mills
Additional information on flour and home food safety:
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