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FOOD SAFETY TIPS FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON

15 December 20230

Enjoying food with family and friends is one of the highlights of the festive season. Ensuring food safety is essential at all stages of food preparation (from purchasing the food market to serving it on the plate). Preventing contamination, the growth of microorganisms, and the survival of these microorganisms in our food should be our priority during all stages of food preparation. Unsafe food can lead to foodborne diseases, food poisoning, and consequently death. Prevention is always the best approach.

Follow these tips to help prevent food poisoning, or foodborne illness during the holidays.

  1. When buying pre-packaged food, DO NOT:
  • Buy any can of food that looks swollen or bulged.
  • Buy any dented can.
  • Buy any food item with damaged packaging.
  • Buy food items that have their “expiry date”, “best before date”, or “use-by-date” elapsed.
  1. Defrost carefully. Never allow food to thaw at room temperature, on the counter, or in warm water. Defrost food only in the refrigerator, microwave, or in a cool water bath (inside a leak-proof plastic bag) with water that is changed every 30 minutes. When defrosting food in the refrigerator, remember to cover raw meat and place it on the bottom shelf so juices won’t drip onto other foods. When thawing food in the microwave, cook it immediately afterward.
  2. Wash hands before, during and after food preparation. Proper hand-washing may eliminate a large percentage of food poisoning cases. Remember to wash your hands when switching tasks, such as handling raw meat and then cutting vegetables. Wash hands with soap in clean running water for at least 20 seconds.
  3. Keep kitchen surfaces clean. Use hot, soapy water to wash countertops and surfaces, cutting boards, refrigerator door handles, and utensils. After tidying up, keep it clean by avoiding cross-contamination.
  4. Separate raw meat from ready-to-eat food. Make it easy by using color-coded cutting boards, one for raw meats and one for ready-to-eat foods. Prevent juices from raw meat, chicken, turkey, and seafood from dripping onto other foods by keeping them in containers or sealed plastic bags.
  5. Cook food thoroughly. Use a food thermometer to make sure meat, chicken, turkey, seafood, and eggs have been cooked to a safe internal temperature to kill germs.
  6. Keep food out of the “danger zone”. After food is prepared, keep hot food hot and cold food cold. Refrigerate or freeze perishable food like meat, chicken, turkey, seafood, eggs, cut fruit, cooked rice, and leftovers within 2 hours. This helps prevent the growth of bacteria that can lead to food poisoning. The temperature in your refrigerator should be set at 50C or below.
  7. Do not eat raw dough or batter. Dough and batter made with flour or eggs can contain harmful germs, such as E. coli and Salmonella. Resist the temptation to taste raw dough or batter that is meant to be cooked or baked.

Food Safety is a Shared Responsibility!!!!!!!

Best before date
Dented Can

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