Hosting and Food Safety
1. When preparing a holiday meal for friends and family be sure to wash hands, utensils, sink, and anything else that has come in contact with raw poultry. Keep in mind that a stuffed bird takes longer to cook.
2. Never defrost food at room temperature. Thaw it in the refrigerator, in cold water or in the microwave.
3. While doing holiday cooking, keep your knives sharp. Most knife injuries occur due to dull blades.
4. Use a clean food thermometer to cook foods to a safe internal temperature before serving.
5. Avoid cleaning kitchen surfaces with wet dishcloths or sponges. They easily harbor bacteria and promote bacteria growth. Use clean paper towels instead.
6. When reheating leftovers, bring the temperature up to at least 165°F to eliminate any bacterial growth.
7. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers in covered shallow containers (less than two inches deep) within two hours after cooking. Date the leftovers for future use.
8. Being a smart party host or guest should include being sensible about alcoholic drinks. More than half of all traffic fatalities are alcohol-related. Use designated drivers, people who do not drink, to drive other guests home after a holiday party.
9. The holiday season is one of the most stressful times of the year. You can’t avoid stress completely, but you can give yourself some relief. Allow enough time to shop for gifts and meal items rather than hurry through stores and parking lots. Only plan to do a reasonable number of errands.