Tips to enjoy a safe, delicious holiday dinner

  • Dec. 20, 2004 7:00 a.m.

Although you may be expecting a guests for your holiday dinner, food poisoning isn’t one of them.
Common bacteria found in poultry and other items in the kitchen can turn a delicious meal into diarrhea, abdominal pain and vomiting. By taking the proper precautions, holiday chefs can ensure their festive creations do not become a painful nightmare.
Help make your feast a safe and enjoyable by following these simple tips:
Basic food prep
· Thoroughly wash your hands with warm water and soap before handling any food.
· Wash all produce.
· Start with clean, sanitized food prep surfaces. After use, wash and sanitize all utensils and food prep surfaces with five millitres (one tsp.) bleach per litre (four cups) – especially important after working with raw meat and poultry.
· Do not leave raw meat, poultry, eggs, or dairy to sit out on the counter.
Finish all food prep within two hours when working with these ingredients.
· Avoid advance cooking or preparation where possible, as this allows bacteria to grow, especially if food is stored in danger zone temperatures
– 4º C (40º F) to 60º C (140º F).
· Heat destroys most bacteria, parasites, and viruses. Follow the required cooking temperature as indicated by cookbooks. Remember 74º C (165º F) for poultry, stuffing, and ground meats.
· Cold temperatures slow bacteria growth so keep foods refrigerated at 4º C (40º F).
Getting that bird ready
· Thaw in the fridge at 4º C. This takes a long time so
plan ahead. Allow five hours per pound.
· Do not cook partially frozen poultry as the outside will be overdone before the inside has reached a safe temperature.
· Cook all parts of a bird to at least 74ºC (165º F). As a precaution, a stuffed bird should reach 82º C (180ºF). Use a meat thermometer to confirm.
· Drumsticks should pull easily away when your bird is ready.
Stuffing
· The safest way to cook stuffing is on the stove or in the oven-not in the bird
· If you are cooking stuffing in the bird, stuff just before placing in oven, never the day or night before.
· Stuff loosely to allow even heating.
· The final cooking temperature of stuffing inside a bird should reach 80º C (180º F). Always confirm temperature with a thermometer.
Leftovers
· Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within two hours of cooking.
· Cut poultry into slices before refrigerating. Remove stuffing from turkey, refrigerate separately.
· Cool and refrigerate gravy no more than two to three inches deep in containers.
· Use leftovers within two or three days.
· Make sure all leftovers are reheated to 74º C (165º F).
· When in doubt about leftovers, throw it out!

Just Posted

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

Gwaii Haanas Report: Talking About Everything plan

By Victoria Leslie A dinner of crab legs and clam fritters, halibut… Continue reading

115 new wildfires burning across B.C. due to 19,000 lightning strikes

More fires expected to start today, says BC Wildfire Service officials

CHN seeks injunction against logging at Collison Point

Weeks after ordering an end to a blockade there, the B.C. Supreme… Continue reading

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

Man shot dead in Surrey ID’d as hockey coach and father of two

Murder of Paul Bennett – a respected Peace Arch Hospital worker and ‘champion of sport’ – ‘not random’

Serial killer Robert Pickton transferred to Quebec: victim’s family

Pickton was convicted in December 2007 of six counts of second degree murder

Canadian Syrian children’s choir not to attend festival over fears about U.S. travel

Many kids are recent immigrants from countries covered by Trump travel ban

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Feds announce measures to protect endangered whale species

Canada’s Whale Initiative is part of the federal government’s $1.5 billion Ocean Protection Plan

Most Read