How to Practice Food Safety During the Holidays

December 30, 2022

How To Practice Food Safety During the Holidays

Every year families and friends gather around the table to feast on seasonal holiday foods that aren’t usually eaten during the rest of the year. And because those foods are only made once a year many people forget how to cook them properly. Poorly cooked food, food left on trays for hours during holiday parties, and other questionable practices can lead to food poisoning during the Christmas season. But you don’t have to let food poisoning ruin your Christmas. With a few standard food safety practices you can avoid making others sick and getting sick yourself.

What Is Food Safety

Food safety is a general term for how food is handles and making sure that even when you’re hosting Christmas get togethers you’re paying attention to the best practices of handling food to make sure that the food you’re serving or eating is safe. Remember that not everyone practices food safety and when you’re a guest at someone’s holiday party if something looks or smells suspect don’t eat it. The guideline for eating and preparing food is “When in doubt, throw it out.” And that can help save you from food poisoning this year.

Holiday Food Safety Tips

Some common holiday food safety tips that you can use to make sure the food you’re serving and eating is safe are:

  • Cheese should never sit out for more than 4 hours, try to keep it under 2 hours.
  • Use chafing dishes to keep foods hot to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Use a dish of ice under foods containing mayonnaise or other condiments that can go bad very quickly.
  • Use different clean utensils for every dish.
  • Wash counters and workspace with antibacterial soap often.
  • Always use a food thermometer, especially to make sure meat is cooked enough.
  • Thaw turkey in the refrigerator not on the counter.
  • Use gloves to prepare food.
  • Use pasteurized eggs instead of raw eggs in dishes when cooking.
  • Don’t leave dairy products like butter and milk on the table or counter.

If you see your host not observing good food safety you should be wary of the food. And if you are not sure if a dish is safe to eat skip the dish.

Got Food Poisoning? Go To Urgent Care

Even if you’re careful you can end up with food poisoning. If you start feeling sick to your stomach, experience vomiting or diarrhea, or stomach cramps go to urgent care right away. If food poisoning is severe you could end up dehydrated and very sick. The doctors at urgent care can prescribe medication to make you more comfortable while you wait for the food poisoning to pass.

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