How to avoid food poisoning before and after Christmas

dWeb.News Article from Daniel Webster dWeb.News

Multiple chefs, including the elderly, as well as multiple dishes and meals being prepared during holidays can all lead to food poisoning.

The best way to ensure your family’s safety is to adhere to the four food safety rules cleane, separate, cook, and chill .

“Clean” encourages customers to clean their hands and use the kitchen frequently during cooking. Separate prevents cross-contamination by encouraging consumers not to eat raw meats with other foods. Cook informs consumers about the importance of cooking meat, poultry, and eggs to the correct internal temperature. “Chill” emphasizes the importance of fast refrigeration. Those behaviors provide consumers with clear steps to take to prevent food poisoning.

Are you a Christmas turkey or ham family?
According to Monday’s Food Safety News Twitter poll, more than 40 percent of our followers say they prefer ham for Christmas.

Ham safety tips from USDA:

Both whole or half, cooked, vacuum-packaged hams packaged in federally inspected plants and canned hams can be eaten cold, right out of the package.
If you want to reheat these cooked hams, set the oven no lower than 325 degF and heat to an internal temperature of 140 degF as measured with a food thermometer.
Unpackaged, cooked ham is potentially contaminated with pathogens. For cooked hams that have been repackaged in any other location outside the processing plant or for leftover cooked ham, heat to 165 degF.
Spiral-cut cooked hams are also safe to eat cold, if they have been held at proper temperatures. These hams should be served cold, as heating whole or half hams can dry the meat and cause glaze to melt. If reheating is desired, hams that were packaged in processing plants under USDA inspection must be heated to 140 degrees F as measured with a food thermometer (165 degrees F for leftover spiral-cut hams or ham that has been repackaged in any other location outside the plant). To reheat a spiral-sliced ham in a conventional oven, cover the entire ham, or individual portions, with heavy aluminum foil and heat at 325 degrees F for about 10 minutes per pound. Individual slices may also be warmed in a skillet or microwave, but must reach 165 degrees F.
Cook-before-eating hams or fresh hams must reach 145 degrees F (with a 3-minute rest time) to be safely cooked before serving. Cook in an oven set no lower than 325 degrees F. Hams can also be safely cooked in a microwave oven, other countertop appliances, and on the stove. For specific instructions and timing, consult a cookbook.
Country hams can be soaked for 4 to 12 hours or longer in the refrigerator to reduce the salt content before cooking. They can then be baked or boiled. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

According to yesterday’s Food Safety News Twitter poll, over just less than 30 percent of our followers say they prefer turkey on Christmas.

Turkey safety tips from USDA:

Thaw the turkey safely
Perishable foods should never be thawed on the counter, at room temperature or in hot water. They should not be kept at room temperature for longer than two hours. You can safely thaw turkeys and other foods in a variety of safe ways, such as in the fridge, in cold water, and in the microwave.

Even though the center of the food may still be frozen as it thaws on the counter, the outer layer of the food can easily be in the “Danger Zone,” between 40 degrees F and 140 degrees F. The danger zone allows potentially deadly bacteria to multiply rapidly.

Remove the giblets from the turkey cavities after thawing and cook them separately.

Thoroughly cook your turkey

Use a meat thermometer to determine when the turkey is done. The turkey is done when the thermometer reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Insert the thermometer in the thickest part of the turkey thigh. It takes longer to cook dark meat than other parts.
Basting the turkey while it is cooking is not necessary. If the tools are dipped in uncooked or undercooked chicken juices, they could cause bacterial contamination. Then let them sit at room temperature to be brushed.
Do not cook a turkey overnight in an oven set at a low temperature. Cooking a turkey at a temperature below 325 degrees Fahrenheit allows harmful bacteria to multiply.
If you purchase a fully cooked turkey, pick it up hot and take it home to eat immediately or refrigerate it.

Holiday specials

If your eggnog is egg-based make sure to cook the base to a minimum safe temperature of 160 degrees F. Adding alcohol alone does not make eggnog safe for consumption.
Winter holiday dishes such as “cannibal sandwiches” and “tiger meat” are common in the Midwest, as well as elsewhere in the country. It is usually made from raw meat and contains spices, onion, and raw eggs. It can be served with bread or crackers. This dish is responsible for hundreds of deaths each year. Raw meat should never be eaten. Raw eggs and ground beef pose health risks if they are not cooked properly. A safe alternative is to mix ground beef with spices and onion and cook it to a safe 160 degrees F.
When baking this holiday season do not eat raw dough if it contains eggs or unbaked flour.

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