Spread joy, not germs, this Christmas holiday season

For many the holiday season means a time to enjoy good company and good food.

For many the holiday season means a time to enjoy good company and good food.

As we spread the joy of the season we need to be extra careful to not spread food-borne illness causing bacteria.

These simple food safety tips will help you prepare a safe and tasty holiday meal:

Store and thaw safely: Keep fresh turkey refrigerated no longer than three days before cooking.

There are three ways to thaw frozen turkey in its wrapper:

•Under cold running water (one hour per pound)

•In a clean sink full of cold water, changing the water every couple of hours

•In the fridge (five hours per pound)

•Thawing poultry at room temperature is not recommended because it allows harmful bacteria to grow.

•Keep other items, especially those with meat, seafood, dairy, eggs or other moist, protein-rich foods chilled until served.

Clean carefully: Wash your hands, utensils and work surfaces well before prep work begins.

Once the preparation work is done, clean surfaces in hot soapy water, rinse, then sanitize.

Sanitizing can be done with a diluted bleach solution (30 ml of bleach per gallon of water) that is allowed to sit for two minutes.

Wash your hands well after cleaning the cutting board and before and after working with any new menu items.

Avoid cross contamination: Store raw meat away from food that is ready-to-eat, including fruit and vegetables (and be sure to wash these thoroughly before serving).

Turkeys should be wrapped well and stored on the lowest shelf of your fridge or in the meat keeper to keep blood and juices from contaminating other food.

Ensure only clean utensils and cutting boards are used.  Use a separate cutting board to prepare raw meat.

Wash hands after handling any raw foods and minimize hand contact during final preparation steps.

Cook well: For turkey, set the oven at no lower than 350 °F (177 °C) and cook for about 20 minutes per pound.

Use a good meat thermometer to measure the turkey’s internal temperature and ensure it’s safe to eat.

All parts of the bird including stuffing should be at least 165°F (74oC) when removed from the oven.

Health Canada recommends an internal temperature of 185°F (85 °C) at the thickest part of the meat as additional assurance.

Check the temperature in several places to be sure. Cooked food should be kept at 140 °F (60 °C) while waiting to serve.

Refrigerate: Chill food immediately after returning from the store and soon after dinner is complete. Perishable food should be placed in the refrigerator within two hours of being removed from the oven. Refrigerate at 40°F (4°C) or in a freezer at 0°F (-18 °C).

Health Canada recommends refrigerating leftovers for no more then two to three days. Put them in the freezer in order to keep them longer.

Have a happy and healthy holiday season!

Kevin Touchet is the Manager of Environmental Health with Interior Health

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Freya Cockwill, 4, Lyra Cockwill, 6, and Haylee Sigurdson, 9, had some fun designing and painting face masks during the Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy’s Family Fest in January of 2020 in Williams Lake. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Watch for Tribune Reach-A-Reader edition Jan. 21

Read the Tribune newspaper on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021 to learn more about CCPL and literacy

Residents are reminded to remain vigilant in following COVID-19 precautions as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the region. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Climbing COVID-19 cases prompts City of Williams Lake to increase response level

City leaders continue to press for more information from Interior Health

A sign outside Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake last summer reminded visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Moderna vaccine coming to all six Tsilhqot’in communities within coming days, weeks

Yunesit’in First Nation to receive COVID-19 vaccine Jan. 13

letter
LETTERS: I saw the best of humanity near Williams Lake

Special thank you goes to Tara, who took care of my dog without even thinking twice

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Most Read