Holiday Food Safety Tips

The winter holiday season brings many people together to enjoy celebrating by entertaining friends and family, throwing parties, and preparing feasts.

This holiday season learn how to store, prepare, and serve food safely to prevent foodborne illness from ruining the holidays.

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Clean, Separate, Cook, Chill

To make sure everyone will enjoy the holiday season, be sure to keep food safe and avoid illness by following the basic food safety steps:

  • Clean: Wash hands and food-contact surfaces (such as cutting boards) often. Bacteria can spread throughout the kitchen and get onto cutting boards, knives, sponges, and counter tops.
  • Separate: Don’t cross-contaminate: Don’t let bacteria spread from one food product to another. This is especially true for raw meat, poultry and seafood. Keep these foods and their juices away from ready-to-eat foods.
  • Cook: Cook to proper temperatures. Foods are properly cooked when they are heated for a long enough time and at a high enough temperature to kill the harmful bacteria that cause foodborne illness.
  • Chill: Refrigerate promptly. Refrigerating foods keeps harmful bacteria from growing and multiplying. Refrigerators should be set at 40° Fahrenheit and the freezer at 0° Fahrenheit, and the accuracy of the settings should be checked occasionally with a thermometer.

Avoid Foodborne Illness

During the holidays, try to avoid foods such as raw oysters; steak tartare; rare or medium hamburger; soft-boiled eggs; and egg drinks, mousse or bread pudding, unless made with pasteurized eggs or an egg substitute. All of these can grow germs that cause food poisoning.

It is also very important that those at highest risk (young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those who are ill) not eat raw or undercooked meat or raw oysters.

“Be Food Safe” for Holiday Buffets

It’s a good safety tip to keep in mind all year, not just in the holiday season.

Happy Holidays and remember to BE FOOD SAFE!