25 Nov Thanksgiving Food Safety Tips
When you spend all day cooking for your loved ones on Thanksgiving, secretly hearing one of your guests tell another guest how wonderful dinner was afterwards can make you feel wonderful. On the contrary, hearing that one of your guests may not be feeling well after dinner can ruin the whole festive atmosphere. Prevent food borne illnesses by taking a few precautions. These precautions can start all the way back to making out your invitations:
- Ask everyone on your invitation list if there are any allergies or food aversions they would like you to take into consideration. It is always nice to accommodate all your guests if you can. It does not mean you cannot make your favorite foods. Just have some alternates available so that everyone has something to eat.
- When shopping for your foods, keep raw meats, poultry, and fish away from other foods in your cart. Cross contamination can cause bacterial growth where you do not want it.
- When you get home, keep the foods separated. When preparing, use separate cutting boards and always wash utensils, work spaces and your hands before switching to prepare different foods.
- Cook all your foods to their proper recommended temperature to kill any bacteria that may be present. http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/mintemp.html is a great page listing all the proper temperatures for meats, etc.
- Do not let hot foods get cold and cold foods to get warm. Keep ice on you cold foods and keep your hot foods in a warmer if you can. If not, make sure you put them all away within the hour so they do not spoil.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner and be sure to save an extra piece of pumpkin pie for yourself to enjoy once everyone leaves for the day. You deserve it!