Re-post: Fresno, CA – Believe it or not, but in just two weeks, Americans will be feasting on turkey once again. Time flies when you’re having fun, right? Datatech published this article with reminders from the USDA about food left out for too long and the dangers of this practice last December. It’s fitting that we share it again as a ‘best practices’ article for your use again this year. Be safe, always be thankful, enjoy your family and keep the potentially serious spoiled food issues away.
Fresno, California – Food is flying off the shelves and into your kitchen. Family and friends are coming over for food and good cheer. But the last thing you want is for someone who visited your home to complain about something they ate that didn’t sit well with them. In comes food safety at every turn and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety Inspection Service has these four food safety suggestions to ensure a healthy and safe season and beyond.
Especially during family gatherings, when distractions abound, always follow the four steps to food safety.
Clean hands before food preparation by following these simple steps: wet hands, lather with soap, scrub for at least 20 seconds, rinse with clean warm water and dry hands with a clean towel. Always serve food on clean plates and avoid reusing plates that previously held raw meat and poultry.
Separate raw and cooked foods to avoid cross contamination, which is transferring bacteria from raw food onto ready-to-eat food. For example, when preparing a roast and raw veggies for a dip platter, keep the raw meat from coming into contact with the vegetables, or food that does not require further cooking such as sliced, cooked meat and cheese.
Cook using a food thermometer to make sure food reaches a safe minimum internal temperature. Cook all raw beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops, and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source. For safety and quality reasons, allow meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or consuming.
Cook all raw ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal to an internal temperature of 160 °F as measured with a food thermometer. Cook all poultry to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer. When transporting hot, cooked food from one location to another, keep it hot by carrying it in an insulated container. For more information about food thermometers, visit FoodSafety.gov
Chill leftovers within two hours of cooking. Keep track of how long items have been sitting on the buffet table and discard anything out longer than two hours. Never leave perishable foods, such as meat, poultry, eggs and casseroles in the “Danger Zone” over two hours. The danger zone is between 40 and 140 °F where bacteria multiply rapidly. After two hours, enough bacteria may have grown to make party goers sick. Exceptions to the danger zone include ready-to-eat items like cookies, crackers, bread and whole fruit.
Datatech thanks you for another fine year and wishes you and yours nothing but joy and safety in the new year to come. Datatech provides the ag industry with a fine suite of accounting software for the business of agriculture. Whether you farm, contract labor or pack, ship or broker produce, Datatech is there with you every step of the way to make your life easier and help your business grow. If you need help, see our free help guides here.