Spending holidays with family and friends creates lasting memories. The Lincoln County Health Department reminds everyone to follow basic food safety tips to lower the likelihood that foodborne illness becomes part of your memories. Be mindful of the four important basics of home food safety: Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill.
Clean: Keep everything clean!
- Wash hands before and after handling food.
- Wash hands and surfaces often. Germs can survive in many places around your kitchen including your hands, utensils, cutting board, knives, and countertops.
Separate: Don’t cross contaminate!
- Keep foods that will not be cooked separate from raw eggs, meat and poultry.
- Consider using one cutting board for foods that will be cooked (raw meat, poultry, seafood) and another cutting board for foods that will not be cooked (raw fruits and vegetables).
Cook: Color is not an indicator of doneness!
- Use a food thermometer to ensure that foods are cooked to safe internal temperatures.
- Avoid eating raw or undercooked foods including raw oysters, steak tartare, and rare or medium hamburgers.
Chill: Refrigerate foods quickly before harmful bacteria can grow!
- Avoid leaving hot foods or cold foods at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
- Keep cold foods cold (410F or below) by placing on ice OR use small serving trays and replace them often.
- Keep hot foods hot (1350F or above) by using slow cookers, chafing dishes or warming trays OR use small serving containers and replace them often.