About one in six Americans is expected to contract a foodborne illness each year. That statistic highlights the importance of food safety. To ensure that our readers have a safe holiday feast, Texas Tech’s Department of Environmental Health and Safety has put together these simple rules for the festive season.
- Make sure there is room for your feast in the fridge and freezer.
- Keep fresh fruits and vegetables separate from raw meat and poultry and keep all food away from household chemicals in your shopping cart and in bags.
- Refrigerate perishable foods as soon as you get them home from the store.
- Always pay attention to “sell by” and “use by” dates.
- Wash hands, surfaces and utensils between each food prep step.
- Thaw formula for your turkey: four pounds per 24 hours. Thaw frozen turkey in a refrigerator in its original packaging. Stuff turkey just prior to cooking.
- Cook turkey breast and stuffing to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Temperature is the only indicator that food is cooked for quality and safety. Turkey thighs are best at 175 F.
- Keep hot foods above 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Refrigerate all cold foods at 40 degrees Fahrenheit until ready to serve.
- Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables just before using or consuming, unless labeled “ready-to-eat” or “prewashed.”
Leftovers cool more quickly in shallow containers. Bring gravy to a boil before reserving.
- Reheat leftovers to 165 degrees F.
- Eat or freeze leftovers within three to four days.
- Eat or freeze gravy within two days.
Texas Tech’s EH&S hopes that everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday season! Please send any questions or feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This information is not exhaustive and should not be construed as containing all the necessary compliance, safety, or warning information available. Please make sure you consult with EH&S or appropriate supervisors for all safety information and procedures.