FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: HOLIDAY FOOD SAFETY

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By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

December 23, 2013 (San Diego) -- It’s finally here!  Everything is out and up, presents are wrapped and time to eat and enjoy (if only it were that easy…) Here are some tips to keep your feasts safe during this Holiday season:

Go wash your hands!  Use hot soapy water to wash your hands, utensils, and work surfaces (including cutting boards). Repeat this throughout your preparation to ensure you aren't spreading bacteria around. 

Keep that meat and poultry separate from other foods (cooked or raw). Use separate cutting boards or platters for meats, fruits and vegetables, and other foods. Make sure you follow instructions and cook your food thoroughly! 

Hitting the road and taking food with you? Here are some safety tips if you're going to be transporting food:

Cook food completely, to its safe cooking temperature. Don't transport partially cooked foods. Minimize temperature fluctuations. Use a cooler and/or ice to transport cold foods. When you arrive, reheat hot foods to 165 degrees or boiling for liquids.

And finally, here's how to safely handle leftovers:

Refrigerate all leftovers in shallow containers within 2 hours of serving. Properly stored leftovers can be kept for 3 to 4 days. But if in doubt, throw them out. Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you to wear gloves when handling hot plates and pans, watch your loose clothing near flames, never leave cooking food unattended!

For additional safety tips visit: http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm188807.htm and http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/holidays/put-a-free...

Happy Holidays and Be Safe!

Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

*Note: The information in this article was compiled from various sources. These suggestions are not a complete list of every preventative or loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace additional safety manuals or the advice of another qualified professional(s). We make no guarantee of results from use of this information. We assume no liability in connection with the information nor the suggestions made.