Holiday Food Safety IQ Quiz – Test Your Knowledge

Is your Holiday Food Safety IQ up to safe standards?  Most people don’t realize that food safety is the most important ingredient in preparing food for the holidays. Check your understanding of food safety so your holidays can be remembered for all the right reasons.

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#1 The CDC estimates that roughly 48 million people get sick each year from a foodborne illness.

The CDC estimates that each year roughly 48 million people get sick from a foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die.

#2 What are the three hazard categories of food contaminants?

Biological hazards include bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Chemical hazards include natural toxins and chemical contaminants. Some natural toxins are associated with the food itself (i.e., certain mushrooms and shellfish). Food allergens are also considered a chemical hazard. Physical hazards can include metal shavings from cans and plastic pieces or broken glass.

#3 Before or after handling food, hands should be washed with water and soap for at least:

According to FDA, you should use plain soap and water, rub your hands together to make a lather, and scrub them well for at least 20 seconds.

#4 Which of the following groups has the LOWEST RISK for foodborne illness:

Although foodborne illness can affect anyone, young adults are the least susceptible. Other groups have a greater risk, such as: infants, the elderly, cancer patients, diabetes patients, pregnant women, and other people with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS, diabetes, or an organ transplant.

#5 What is the bacteria growth “Danger Zone” range of temperature?

Bacteria grows most rapidly in the range of temperatures between 40°F and 140°F, doubling in number in as little as 20 minutes.

#6 Which of the procedures is the best method to ensure a safe environment for food preparation?

According to the USDA, the basic way to ensure a safe environment for food preparation is through the procedures: clean, separate, cook, and chill. By following these four basic steps, you can significantly reduce the chance for a foodborne illness.

#7 How long can you safely keep leftovers in the refrigerator?

Leftovers can be kept for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Be sure to eat them within that time. After that, the risk of food poisoning increases.

#8 The only way to ensure food is cooked properly to kill harmful bacteria is to:

The only way to know food has been cooked to a safe internal temperature is to use a food thermometer.

#9 Food should be left at room temperature for no more than:

Follow the 2-hour rule: Do not let perishable food sit out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. If the temperature is above 90 degrees, limit that time to only 1 hour.

#10 What is the safe cooking temperature for pork?

The USDA recommends cooking pork to an internal temperature of 160°F – as measured by a food thermometer.

#11 Which bacteria poses the greatest risk to foodborne illness is found in raw poultry?

Salmonella is the greatest risk found in raw poultry (domestic fowl, such as chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese). Salmonella is a bacteria associated with poultry and egg products causing nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, headache, chills, and prostration.

#12 What is NOT the best method to thaw a frozen turkey?

The USDA recommends three ways to safely thaw frozen turkey. 1: Thaw in the Refrigerator – Allow approximately 24 hours for every 5 pounds of turkey. 2: Thaw in Cold Water – Allow approximately 30 minutes for every pound of turkey. 3: Thaw in a Microwave Oven – Times and power settings will be vary from model to model.

#13 How long can you keep a thawed or fresh turkey in the refrigerator?

Once a frozen turkey is thawed, the FDA recommends it be cooked within 2 days. If getting a fresh, unfrozen turkey, plan on picking up from the store only one or two days before cooking it.

#14 Is it safe to cook the stuffing inside a turkey?

The USDA recommends that the entire turkey is cooked to 165°F – including the stuffing. If the stuffing doesn’t reach 165°F, the bacteria won’t be killed off and could cause foodborne illness. Cooking stuffing inside the turkey to 165°F often means overcooking the bird – so it’s best to cook the stuffing separate.

#15 What is the correct temperature for re-heating leftovers?

According to the USDA, the internal temperature of leftovers should reach 165°F – as measured with a food thermometer.

#16 What dangerous bacteria infection(s) can raw (uncooked) flour pose?

Flour is not intended to be consumed raw. Flour is a minimally processed agricultural ingredient and is not a ready-to-eat product. Food illness outbreaks associated with flour involved the pathogens Salmonella and Escherichia coli (E. coli).

#17 Which pathogen is most likely to contaminate eggs?

Poultry may carry bacteria such as Salmonella that can contaminate the inside of eggs before the shells are formed. Eggs can also become contaminated from the droppings of poultry through the laying process or from the environment (e.g., contaminated poultry feed or bedding).

#18 What is the safe temperature for cooking pumpkin pies?

Pumpkin pie is made with eggs and milk – so it must be safely baked to a safe minimum internal temperature of 160°F. Other pies made with milk and eggs, such as custard pie or cheese cake, should be treated similarly.

#19 Is it safe to eat raw cookie dough?

The FDA suggests to not eat any raw cookie dough, cake mix, or batter due to a risk of E. coli from untreated flour or salmonella from raw eggs.