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Food for Thought - Safe Holiday Eating

Randy DeVaul

Posted on November 16, 2018 19:38

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The most common cause of food poisoning is leaving food out at room temperature longer than two hours. Please heed these food safety tips to ensure your holiday eating does not turn into a dysentary diet plan.

Once the turkey is cooked, how long can it safely stay out for "picking and snacking" before festering into adverse gastro-intestinal screams from those eating it?

Generally, do not leave leftovers out for more than two hours. Refrigerate them as soon as possible and reheat thoroughly to 165 degrees or until steaming hot. Remove stuffing from the cavity, cut turkey off the bone and refrigerate or freeze all leftovers for later use.

Time and temperature abuse are the most common causes of food borne illness. Regardless of whether you are a lover of turkey, chicken, ham, lamb, duck, or strictly going veggie, food borne illness (food poisoning) can threaten you and your family. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the most commonly reported food preparation practice leading to food borne illness is improper holding temperatures (thawing the turkey at room temperature instead of the refrigerator or leaving cooked food out too long), followed by poor personal hygiene (where have your hands been), inadequate cooking (care for rare or raw turkey?), and contaminated equipment (from raw meat juice).

According to the USDA, food left between 40-140 F for more than 2 hrs can create food borne illness with symptoms similar to the flu. The incubation period for many food borne illnesses is from a few hours to a few days. This makes it harder to blame these symptoms on a food eaten a couple of days ago. Symptoms may include nausea, diarrhea, fever, stomach cramps, and vomiting. Not the diet plan I want to sign up for.

Trying to fry your bird in the turkey fryer this year? Keep these safety tips in mind. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is looking into the safety of turkey fryers after Underwriters Laboratory would not give turkey fryers its stamp of approval.

Using a turkey fryer requires heating 3-5 gallons of oil with propane before cooking the turkey. The fryer can easily tip, causing a serious burn and fire hazard, not to mention the new kitchen slip-n-slide on the oil-soaked floor. And talking about fires, many of the units do not have thermostat control. This can cause the oil to overheat and ignite into flames. The sides, lid and top get extremely hot so do not attempt moving it when it is full and do not allow kids or pets near it.

Set the fryer outside the house for cooking, away from combustible materials (things that can burn) and don’t place it directly on your deck. Keep it flat and stable so it remains upright. Thaw the turkey completely before placing it in the oil and if you have not already invested in one, buy and keep handy a kitchen fire extinguisher while the turkey is cooking.

I enjoy good food, regardless of the time of year. It is time to renew my annual new year’s resolution to lose weight. Following these tips will help you and your family enjoy the holidays and remain safe at home.

Randy DeVaul

Posted on November 16, 2018 19:38

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Source: POPSUGAR

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