December 19, 2018
Do not let the fun and joy of friends and family gatherings be ruined by being sick from eating foods which were improperly cooked, cooled and/or held at improper temperatures. Here are reminders about preparing and keeping food safe:
• Clean hands – wash with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling any food. This is important because viruses are not killed by heating food. The key to not spreading viruses is by washing your hands!!
• Shopping and storing food – transport cold food in cooler with ice and place immediately in refrigerator or freezer upon arriving at home; keep food which will not be cooked away from raw eggs, meat, poultry or seafood when shopping or bagging; store eggs, meat, poultry or seafood towards the bottom of the refrigerator to prevent juices from dripping on foods which will not be cooked before eating such as vegetables
• Use a thermometer to be sure meat, poultry and fish are cooked to a safe internal temperature. Ground beef, pork, lamb (160° F); beef, lamb, veal roasts and chops (145° F for 3 minutes); poultry, including stuffing (165° F); pork and ham (145° F for 3 minutes); egg dishes (160° F)
• Holding foods for service – as long as they have been cooked to the proper temperature, keep hot food at 140° F or higher and cold foods at 40° F or lower by using ice or putting out smaller portions at a time. Bacteria grow most rapidly between 40 and 140° F so the more food is kept out of this temperature danger zone, the better.
• Refrigerate leftovers and takeout foods within two hours.
• Thaw frozen food in the refrigerator or under running cold water. Never thaw at room temperature.
• Use leftovers within three to four days, unless frozen.
Have a safe and happy holiday season!
Additional information is available by contacting Janell at the Chouteau County Extension Office at 622-3036, email@example.com or in the Chouteau County Courthouse at 1308 Franklin St in Fort Benton.
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Montana State University, US Department of Agriculture and Montana Counties Cooperating. MSU Extension is an equal opportunity/affirmative action provider of educational outreach.