When serving food to your holiday guests this year, remember that food safety is the most important thing. You would not want your guests to go home with a sour stomach after your holiday party and have to spend Christmas or New Year’s Eve on the couch with a bucket close by. Keeping your food safe for consumption is easy if you follow some simple steps when preparing and cooking it.
First, remember to always keep raw foods away from cooked ones. Even in your grocery cart, keep raw meats, poultry and fish away from other items that are usually eaten without being cooked first. That means using separate cutting boards for different items. Don’t put vegetables on the same cutting board you used to cut up those chicken thighs. And remember to always wash your hands thoroughly between preparing each food.
When foods are cooked, they should always be cooked to the proper temperature. Without getting up to a high enough heat, some bacteria can not only remain alive in foods, but it can easily multiply. You want to be sure you read directions thoroughly. Use a meat thermometer to determine the internal temperature of the foods you are cooking. Even if you prefer rare meats, they should still reach the safe internal temperature before taking them off the heat.
Once you and your guests have enjoyed all the food you prepared, make sure you promptly store it to bring back down the internal temperature again. You do not want to give bacteria the chance to flourish at room temperature. For more tips on how to keep your holiday foods safe this season, check out foodsafety.gov. And to see how your homeowners’ insurance will cover food illness liability, give us a call. Of course we hope you do not have to deal with any sick houseguests. But if you do, we are here to help you.