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!

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Carsen Gray set to launch first children’s book co-created with mom Lynn Hughan

Gray, Hughan launch ‘Twelve Months of Fun on Haida Gwaii with Mattie and Jojo’ on July 23

Federal government urged to protect rare moss clinging to life on Moresby Island cliff

Scientists say small patch of slender yoke-moss struggling to survive on square metre of limestone

Southern section of QC Main temporarily closing this month

QC Main (South) will be closed to all traffic at about 5 kilometres from July 21 to 28

From the archives of the Haida Gwaii Observer

50 YEARS AGO (1970): Nine of 12 entries in the Beach Buggy… Continue reading

BC Ferries reopens limited hot food service between Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert

Release on July 8 says hot food will be served in packaging

VIDEO: Masset Dance Troupe presents beachfront ‘promenade performance’

Troupe performed ‘A Mid Summer Day’s Dream’ for family, friends on July 4 and 5

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

‘Trauma equals addiction’: Why some seek solace in illicit drugs

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Most Read