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Basics for handling food safely this holiday season

Mother and daughter whisking batter during the holiday season
Basics for handling food safely this holiday season

Stay healthy over the holidays with these helpful holiday food safety tips.

With all the food and drink over the holidays, it can be easy to forget that food is one of the more common pathogens. Food-borne illnesses are some of the most common ways for infection to spread, outside of upper respiratory illness.

Follow these simple food safety tips to keep your food safe this holiday season.

  • Wash your hands. Wash your hands multiple times while preparing food, before eating, and after eating. Always wash hands after touching raw meat, raw eggs, or unwashed vegetables. Wash before eating or drinking, after blowing your nose or coughing or sneezing, or after using the bathroom. Keeping your hands clean is one of the top ways to avoid spreading disease.
  • Cook foods thoroughly. Use a thermometer to ensure that foods are cooked to the safe minimum internal temperature. Meat, poultry, seafood and eggs should be temperature checked.
  • After food is cooked, keep hot food hot and cold food cold. Keep hot food on a heated burner or serve from a slow cooker set to "warm." Keep cold food cold by placing over ice. Refrigerate or freeze any perishable foods within two hours – do not let food sit out for longer than two hours or eat food that has been sitting at room temperature for an extended period.
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