It’s no secret that food brings families together, especially during the holidays. It gives them something to do when they all get together. To keep the party going, every dish and every ingredient must be in optimal condition to avoid possible situations that could ruin the celebrations.
Whether you have a cooking business or just like cooking for your family, you must follow specific safety guidelines if you are in charge of food. Preventing food poisoning during the holiday season will deliver a better experience for everyone with simple and effective practices.
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Buy Fresh Products
Buying the necessary ingredients before the holidays is a good way to find what you are looking for and save some money, but this could bring problems. Buying fresh products some days before cooking will ensure that every dish has the best taste, especially ingredients like vegetables, fruits, and meat that could easily develop bacteria.
Prevent Cross Contamination
Cross-contamination happens when different products, usually raw chicken and meat, come in contact with each other, which could generate problems like salmonella. Keeping your ingredients separate and frozen is the best way to cook and manipulate ingredients in the kitchen. Use different cutting boards for raw products, keep things spread around the kitchen, and put away products you do not use immediately.
The best way to kill bacteria is by cooking food thoroughly over the minimum required time and temperature. Bacteria like norovirus is more common during winter, which is why you must cook and prepare every dish with care, following every step of the process. Cooking meats at a minimum of 160 degrees Fahrenheit will ensure that your dishes stay safe and delicious.
To keep most products clean and fresh, you must store them in the freezer at no higher than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Freezers are the most effective way to keep bacteria away from products and away from people. Keeping your items frozen until one or two days before cooking them is the best way to prevent food poisoning during the holidays.
Careful With Leftovers
Cooking during the holidays means that there will be food left over because it’s a tradition to cook heavy and large meals around this time. Leftovers are good for one or two days maximum without any possible threat unless left outside the fridge for that time. The best way to get rid of leftovers is by having a smaller gathering the next day.