Many of the holiday traditions enjoyed during fall and winter involve making and sharing food. It’s important to make sure that what you’re sharing is safe to eat.
Wash your hands and cooking and prep surfaces often.
- Germs that cause food poisoning can survive in many places around the kitchen.
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds before, during, and after preparing food.
- Wash cooking and eating utensils, counters, and cutting boards with hot, soapy water.
- Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under cool running water before eating or cooking.
- Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs separate from ready-to-eat foods and make sure they are stored separately from other items in the fridge.
- Use separate cutting boards for raw meat, poultry, and seafood, or clean cutting boards thoroughly before switching from one to the other.
Cook foods to a safe temperature.
- Use a food thermometer to check for the proper internal temperature—looking at color and texture isn’t as reliable.
- Use this chart to understand internal temperatures and rest times for different kinds of food.
Refrigerate food promptly.
- Keep your refrigerator below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and throw food away when it’s no longer safe to eat.
- Refrigerate perishable foods within two hours.
- Thaw frozen foods safely in the refrigerator, sink, or in cool water.