4 Tips to Prevent Foodborne Illness
By Virginia Laird
One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is cook the big meal. While the kitchen can be filled with hustle and bustle, it is also filled with family, laughter and love. It is easy to get carried away having fun and completely forget about the hard work it takes to prepare the meal and have it ready on time. While cooking may be exciting, there are many things to take into consideration when preparing the meal, including how to prevent foodborne illness from taking over your holiday gathering. Healthcare and nutrition specialists make it clear there are some key tips to follow in the kitchen, including:
- Put the food away immediately after the meal
- Make sure to cook the bird properly
- Clean the preparation area after preparing each dish
- Reheat only as much as you will consume
Put the Food Away Immediately After the Meal
Healthcare professionals along with nutritionists preach that leaving the food out too long is a sure way to introduce bacteria. It is advised to put the buffet of holiday food away as soon as the meal is over. This can help to ensure the leftovers are free of any germs which can have the entire family sick.
Make Sure to Cook the Bird Properly
Like you already know, cooking the bird properly is an issue many health professionals teach, especially during the holiday season. Raw meats can carry bacterias, but poultry tends to be at a higher risk than other meats. It is recommended to have a meat thermometer on hand to make certain the meat is cooked to the right temperature, rather than just waiting for a golden brown outer layer. When the meat is not cooked fully, it can leave harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning, making your holidays not so happy.
Clean Preparation Areas After Preparing Each Dish
While in the kitchen, this holiday season, you will most likely be preparing a plethora of dishes and goodies. Health and wellness coaches suggest it is wise to clean the surface of the counter between preparing each dish, as some of the ingredients may be harboring bacteria that can be transferred. Protect yourself and your family by investing in antibacterial cleaning wipes to disinfect on the go.
Reheat Only as Much as You Will Consume
It is advised by many in the field of health, wellness, and nutrition to only reheat the leftovers you will be eating. This is due to the fact that foods have a limit to the number of times each can be reheated. The act of reheating, cooling, and repeating can increase bacteria growth.
Now get out your best holiday apron, and let the fun of cooking the lavish holiday meal begin!
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