Food safety tips for the holidays

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– A safe holiday dinner takes more than a clean kitchen and washing your hands.

For Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail, it’s all about how you handle your food. You may be use to rinsing off your raw meat before cooking it, for example, but Vail says this isn’t a good idea.

“Imagine you’re rinsing chicken or rinsing some sort of meat in your kitchen sink,” Vail says of bacterial infection risk, “how much of that is really going who knows where that you don’t even see.”

If germs are your concern, heat is your best friend. Use a meat thermometer when you’re cooking. For poultry that means reaching 165°F, and roasts should be cooked to 145°F with a three minute rest time.

But even if you’re going meat-free this year, there are still some things to keep in mind. Vail says it’s important to be mindful of any recalls or alerts on fruit or vegetables.

Officials say big batches of leftovers can pose a huge risk if they’re not cooled properly.

“It takes them a long time to cool,” Vail says. “And so that cooling process, if it doesn’t happen fast enough, lands the food in kind of a risk zone.”

If you do plan on saving some for later, after two hours make sure your leftovers are in the fridge or freezer.

For more helpful tips you can check the Seen on 6 section of our website.

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