Food Safety Tips for the Holidays

Articles
December 14, 2012

Food Safety Tips for the Holidays

SupermarketGuru wants you to be aware of how important it is to practice healthful food safety with kitchen tools this holiday season

New scientific research has shown that food-borne illnesses can be spread by kitchen knives, but don't forget graters, chopping boards, can openers, and of course foods themselves - all these things need constant washing and safe handling practices to keep you and your loved ones safe, for the holidays and all year round.
 
What you really need to know is that proper food handling processes at home can help reduce food-borne illnesses. Frequent hand washing with soap and water, and careful handling of raw meat, poultry, eggs, etc. should always be top of mind. There are a variety of washes available for vegetables, but leafy greens can be cleaned with a simple vinegar and water bath, followed by a quick spin in a salad spinner. Wash the skins of fruits and meats before cutting them with a knife and always use hot soapy water and clean scrubbers, brushes and cloths.
 
Wash your hands thoroughly with hot soapy water before cooking, handling raw foods, and before handling cooked foods. Wash fruits and vegetables under running water just before eating, cutting or cooking. Even if you plan to peel the produce before eating, it is still important to wash it first. Drying produce with a clean cloth towel or paper towel may further reduce bacteria that may be present.
 
Don't forget - hand washing may eliminate nearly half of all cases of food poisoning and significantly reduce the spread of the common cold and flu.

Here are some great tips from homefoodsafety.org

When You Wash:
Dry hands with disposable paper towels, clean cloth towels or air dry.
Sing two choruses of "Happy Birthday" while you lather up - cleaning your hands for 20 seconds.
Always wash your hands front and back up to your wrists, between fingers and under fingernails.
Never forget to wash your hands after switching tasks, such as handling raw meat and then cutting vegetables.
Hands should be washed in warm, soapy water before preparing foods and after handling raw meat, poultry and seafood.
 
And Don't Forget Surfaces!
Keep kitchen surfaces such as appliances, countertops, cutting boards and utensils clean with hot, soapy water.
A smelly dishcloth, towel or sponge is a sure sign that unsafe bacterial growth is lurking nearby. Bacteria live and grow in damp conditions.
Wash dishcloths and towels often in the hot cycle of your washing machine.
Disinfect sponges in a chlorine bleach solution.
Replace worn sponges frequently. 
 
Wash hands before you: 
Handle or prepare food
Eat meals
Feed children
 
Wash hands after you:
Prepare food
Touch raw food, especially meats
Switch food preparation tasks
Touch eggs and egg-rich foods
Use the restroom
Change a diaper
Cough or sneeze
Handle garbage, dirty dishes
Smoke a cigarette
Pet animals
Use the phone
Touch face, hair, body, other people
Touch a cut or sore
Clean or touch dirty laundry