Share Your Cooking Tips for Holiday Meals

Tell us in the comments if there's anything you do special to ensure a perfect holiday meal and follow these food safety tips from the department of health.

Have you had a turkey disaster, a pumpkin pie gone wrong or some other horrible holiday meal experience? Share your story with others in the Broadneck community in the comments.

To avoid any food catastrophes, the Anne Arundel County Department of Health has released a list of food safety tips for the holiday season.

  • At the grocery store, purchase cold foods like meat and poultry last. Get them home quickly and put them in the refrigerator. Freeze meats if not cooking within two days.
  • Make sure to wash hands and surfaces with warm, soapy water before and after handling food or eating. Wash fresh produce thoroughly.
  • To cook meat safely, use a food thermometer and follow temperature guidelines. The internal temperature of whole poultry should reach 165 F; ground beef hamburgers, 155 F; ground poultry, 165 F; pork, 145 F; and beef, veal and lamb steaks and roasts, 145 F.
  • Don’t leave food at room temperature for more than two hours.
  • Thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator, under cold running water or in the microwave. Cook immediately after thawing if using cold water or the microwave.
  • Divide leftovers into shallow containers for rapid cooling. Put food directly in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Cut turkey off the bone and refrigerate stuffing and turkey separately.
  • Use cooked leftovers within four days, reheating them thoroughly to 165 F or above. Reheating smaller portions of a large cut of meat or poultry ensures a more uniform reheat.

These tips can help protect you and your family from foodborne illness during the holidays. For more information, call the Housing and Food Protection Program at 410-222-7239 or go to “Holiday Tips for Handling Food Safely” under Hot Topics at www.aahealth.org.

Editor's note: This article originally ran on Edgewater-Davidsonville Patch.

lavinaseidl November 17, 2011 at 08:09 AM
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