Food Safety Month
September is Food Safety Month. With football tailgating season upon us and major holidays in the near future, there is no better time than the present to go over some helpful tips.
Being careless in food preparation can lead to food poisoning, which is a quick way to ruin a good time. Food poisoning is caused by toxins, which are created by bacteria and in most cases are undetectable by sight, smell or taste. This affects millions of people each year.
Our Department has put together a great list of food safety tips; here are a few. (For more detailed information on each of these tips as well as additional ones, please visit our Food Safety Section.)
Don’t interrupt the cooking process
Interrupting the cooking process or cooking a turkey in stages promotes the growth of bacteria.
Make sure cooking temperatures are high enough to kill bacteria
The temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit are the most dangerous for bacterial growth.
Careful storage of leftovers minimizes food poisoning
Reheated leftover turkey and stuffing shouldn’t be kept out to serve for more than two hours before being refrigerated or frozen.
Wrap food properly to prevent freezer burn
If leftover turkey won’t be used within three or four days, or stuffing within one or two, wrap them separately in freezer paper or heavy-duty foil and freeze them.
I also came across two great sources via Twitter yesterday. The International Food Information Council has been posting some great tips on their Twitter page such as purchasing, separating, cooking and holding advice. The Food Safety division of the USDA also has a Twitter page and they have been posting tips as well.
With our website and these two sources, there is more than enough information to ensure you handle food safely.
Image from Flickr.