USDA Releases Holiday Food Safety Tips • Long Beach Post

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… food coma time.

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But, before you dive into that turkey or ham, the USDA has released some holiday safety tips to make sure that if you do feel sick to your stomach, it’s just from overeating, and not from undercooked foods.

“Carrying food from one location to another and sharing dishes with a crowd means more opportunity for bacteria to grow and cause food poisoning,” the USDA said in a statement. “Whether you’re an experienced cook, a first-time party host, or simply adding a dish to the potluck lineup, the holidays can make even the most confident chefs nervous.”

For grocery shopping, raw foods should be kept away from other foods in the cart, cold foods should be purchased last and raw foods should be placed in their own bag away from other foods.

When preparing food, separate cutting boards should be used for raw foods and vegetables, a meat thermometer should be used and uncooked recipes should be prepared before recipes requiring raw meat to reduce cross-contamination.

When cooking for groups, hot food should be kept hot and cold food should be kept cold, the USDA said. Food should be served on several small places, and perishable foods left out for two hours or more should be discarded.

A holiday roast should be prepared using separate cutting boards, plates and utensils. The cutting board should be cleaned with warm water and soap or placed in the dishwasher after cooking.

For a complete list of tips, click here.

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