Homeowner's Academy

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People's Trust Holiday Food Tips

by BROOKE GOLD HASSON | Dec 18, 2013

holiday-cookies-200x300If you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa,or any other holiday this “holiday season” we hope your holidays will be filled with laughter, family, friends, and great food.  Many of us host our friends and families for the holiday’s and that means having breakfasts, brunches, lunches or dinners at our home’s.   People’s Trust Insurance wants to share some safety tips to make sure your food stays safe this holiday season and that all go home full and not with anything else.  Happy Holiday’s from the People’s Trust family!

  • Always wash your hands before handling food and after handling raw meat.  Wash your hands often so you minimize bacterial contamination.

  • Plan Accordingly. Make sure that you have enough fridge and freezer space and that your fridge temperature is running between 0 and 5ºC. This can be easily checked with an inexpensive fridge thermometer.

  • Shop for holiday foods safely. Preferably, 1-2 days before you are going to cook it so it is fresh.

  • Thaw frozen meats safely. Defrost meats in the refrigerator approximately 24 hours, depending on size, or submerge meat in its original package in a pan of cold water enough to cover the meat and allow 30 minutes for every pound.

  • Cook to proper temperature. Use a thermometer to make sure food has been cooked enough to kill bacteria. Turkey, stuffing, side dishes and all leftovers should be cooked to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Keep guests out of the kitchen. Holidays occur during cold and flu season, and preventing guests from sampling the food while it is being prepared, limits the amount of germs getting on the food. Serve appetizers to give guests something to nibble on until the meal is ready.

  • Wash all fresh produce. Rinse fruits and vegetables thoroughly under cool running water and use a produce brush to remove surface dirt. Even wash prepackaged greens to minimize bacterial contamination.

  • Avoid Contamination. Never use the same chopping board for raw poultry and ready to eat foods unless it is washed thoroughly in hot soapy water (ideally have separate chopping boards.)

  • Eating leftovers. Don’t leave leftovers sitting around as food poisoning bacteria can grow and multiply. Cool any leftovers quickly, ideally within two hours before putting in the fridge. To speed cooling divide the food into smaller portions and put on a cooling rack (such as the rack from a grill pan.  Reheat leftovers to 165 degrees Fahrenheit throughout or until steaming hot. Soups, sauces and gravies should be brought to a rolling boil for at least one minute. Never taste leftover food that looks or smells strange. When in doubt, throw it out.

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People’s Trust Insurance Company