Friday, February 17, 2012

Food Safety Tips During The Holiday Season

Thanksgiving may have come and gone but the holiday season is just about to go into full swing. Restaurants and other food establishments, no doubt, are stacking up right now on good food, good service, and good cheer. For most, throw in there good food safety practices, food safety training, and food handler certification because they are what the local health authorities, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the restaurant inspector ordered.

The holiday season is the busiest time of the year for food establishments; it is also the time when lapses in food safety are most likely to happen because of the sheer volume and pace of food handling and food preparation.

For this season, the FDA again reminds all food handlers (and, yes, that includes home kitchen kibitzers) of the following:

Clean. First rule of safe food preparation: Keep everything clean.

Separate. Prevent cross-contamination. That is to say, don't provide microorganisms the right conditions to spread from one food to another. Separate raw foods (eggs, fish, meat) from foods that won’t be cooked (fruits and vegetables).

Cook. Food that is safely cooked is food that has been allowed to have a high enough internal temperature to kill harmful bacteria.

Chill. Refrigerate foods promptly. Bacteria, both harmful and harmless, proliferate at room temperature.

For more on food safety and, of course, on food safety training, offers courses for food handlers card and food safety classes, programs that help guarantee that eating out this holiday season will be a real Christmas treat.
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