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Christmas Food Safety

December 25, 2013, 5:00 PM by Stephanie Gregory

Christmas Food Safety

The holidays are about spending time with the ones you love and the last thing many people want to do is have to make a visit to the doctor because of a foodborne illness. That’s why it is so important to make sure those holiday meals stay protected.

"There are four main things you can do to help make sure what you're serving at your holiday parties are safe," Sanford Community Education Dietitian Jocelyn Johnson said.

Johnson says the first thing to do before preparing meals is make sure everything is clean. She says that means washing your hands, cutting boards and countertops.

The second thing to do is separate ready to eat foods, like bread, from raw meat. 

Third, make sure you cook your food to the right temperature. Whole meats should be at 145 degrees, ground meats should be at 160 degrees and poultry needs to be at 165 degrees.

"There are also apps out there that have the correct temperatures because poultry, beef, pork, they all have different internal temperatures," Johnson said.

Last, stay out of the danger zone; Johnson says that mans keeping your refrigerator below 40 degrees and always refrigerate leftovers right away.

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