GREAT BAY, Sint
(DCOMM) – With the clock counting down to Christmas, families have already been
looking at their holiday meal shopping requirements. Cooking up a storm
for this holiday season is one of the Christmas traditions.
Part of the excitement
of the holidays is the traditional foods of the season. However, some of
these foods can pose hazards that can ruin more than just a holiday meal – they
can cause serious illness and even death.
As part of Collective
Prevention Services (CPS), Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and
Labour Safe Holiday Season calendar of observances, in collaboration with the
Department of Communications (DCOMM), residents are advised to keep the season
safe by following some tips on how to enjoy holiday meals safely.
To Make Sure Bacteria
are not allowed to Grow:
- Use a thermometer.
Be sure stuffing, chicken and any other poultry dishes are cooked thoroughly to
165 degrees F; ground beef
and ham must be cooked thoroughly to 155 degrees F. All other foods, including
eggs should be cooked to 145 degrees F.
- Do not leave foods
containing meat, milk, eggs, fish or poultry at room temperature
for more than four hours. This includes pudding and custard-type pies that are
popular during the holidays.
- Cool all leftovers
to 41 degrees F within four hours after cooking.
- Do not thaw foods
at room temperature. Plan ahead and thaw them in the refrigerator. If the food
needs to be thawed quickly, use the microwave or cold running water and then
cook promptly after it has thawed.
- If you are
traveling with food, be sure to keep it cold 41. F. or hot 140 F or above while
- After the big meal,
be sure to refrigerate any leftovers within 1 hour. Bacteria love room temperatures
and grow quickly in amounts enough to make people ill.
To Prevent Food from
- Wash your hands
frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water before food preparation and
after coughing, sneezing, using the toilet, changing diapers, eating, drinking
- Do not prepare or
handle foods if you are ill; a cook’s gastrointestinal illness could be spread
to others sharing the meal.
- Thoroughly clean
and sanitize knives, cutting boards and other utensils before and after preparing
raw foods and foods that do not require further cooking. Sanitize with a
solution of one tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water.
- Wash all fresh fruits and
Contrary to popular
belief, if you do become ill from contaminated food, it is not always the last
meal you ate that’s the culprit. Food-borne illness can occur anywhere from one
hour to 72 hours and even longer after eating contaminated food.
Please help make this
holiday season safer by paying attention to proper food preparation and