This weekend, millions of Americans will be celebrating Easter with their loved ones and friends. In order to make sure that our readers know the importance of food safety, we decided to urge our clients and blog visitors to take some important steps to ensure the Easter ham you’re preparing is absolutely safe to eat.
This weekend, consumers who are preparing ham at their home for guests should keep in mind that there are certain procedures they must follow depending on what kind of ham product they are going to prepare.
The first question you must answer is: is the ham you’re preparing fresh or has it already been cooked?
According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), uncooked or uncured ham, also known as fresh ham, must be cooked to an internal temperature of 140 °F. The ham must be placed in an oven that is set to be at 325 °F or higher. You must use a food thermometer to make sure that the internal temperature matches the requirement.
After the product is ready, the ham must stand outside of the oven for three minutes until it has been cooled before you you and your guests can begin carving.
While it’s important to follow these tips if you’re preparing an uncured leg of pork, there are other important details you need to pay attention to. For instance, if the ham you’re preparing has been cooked then vacuum packed, or if it’s spiral cut cooked, or canned, they are safe to eat even if you do not want to heat them up.
If you and your guests want to eat it warm, however, safety experts urge you to make sure that the slices are placed in the oven until the internal temperature reaches 140 °F. Make sure to also use the food thermometer to check the progress.
When heating leftovers that have been already cooked, or when preparing cooked hams that were repackaged in another location outside the processing plant, heat the product internally up to 165 °F.
According to safety advocates, the cooking process is important because the right internal temperature will destroy foodborne pathogens including Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, E. coli, and Staphylococcus aureus. With the increase in cases of food poisoning incidents, it’s important that consumers pay attention to the potential risks.
If you would like to learn more about how you should proceed to make sure that the ham you’re serving this Easter Sunday is safe, follow this link to read more details.