When it comes to holiday cooking, many of us tend to prioritize time over hygiene. Despite the several events in family, whether you’re staying in and letting someone do all the cooking or you’re the one handling the food all on your own, you should consider putting safety first.
To many safety advocates, the idea that consumers often ignore the risks associated with poorly maintained and prepared meals compels them to act. With the safety of consumers, especially pregnant women, children, and the elderly in mind, many government bodies across the Washington state — and elsewhere — are publishing recommendations consumers should follow if they are serious about making sure their loved ones are protected.
Some of these safety tips include making sure that your refrigerator is ready to receive all the food you’re about to store. When consumers run out of room and air circulation suffers as a result, foods may not cool properly, increasing the risk of contamination.
When planning on the items you will have to freeze also think of the foods you will have to keep frozen during the mealtime. Plan and act accordingly in order to avoid allowing foods that should be frozen stay outside of the freezer.
When preparing for cooking or putting together a meal, remember that you should wash your hands thoroughly. But not only prior to preparation. According to experts, you should wash hands before preparation, whenever you’re ready to switch between foods, and after handling raw meats. A good rule of thumb is to wash your hands whenever they get dirty. Whenever washing your hands, use clear running water and make sure you lather your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds, doing all you can to not forget about your nails. Rinse thoroughly and dry with clean towels.
When thawing the turkey for the meal, remember it should always be thawed in the refrigerator, microwave, or under cold, running water. Leaving the turkey on the counter may allow it to be exposed to contamination. Depending on the temperature of your fridge, it may take days to thaw the turkey, so make sure you’re following instructions properly. When gathering the tools you will need to prepare the meals, make sure to have different cutting boards for vegetables and meats.
For a more thorough list of food safety tips for all Californians this holiday season, follow this link and have a safe holiday.