Keep your holiday foods safe - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Keep your holiday foods safe

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) - As the holiday season approaches, many of us like to celebrate by entertaining friends and family, throwing parties, and preparing feasts. From the buffet table to the office party, food often takes center stage throughout the holiday season.

Johnson County Public Health would like to remind you to be sure to keep your food safe by following these basic food safety steps:

Clean: Wash hands and food-contact surfaces often. Bacteria can spread throughout the kitchen and get onto cutting boards, knives, sponges, and counter tops.

Separate: Don't cross-contaminate--don't let bacteria spread from one food product to another. This is especially true for raw meat, poultry and seafood. Keep these foods and their juices away from ready-to-eat foods.

Cook: Cook to proper temperatures. Foods are properly cooked when they are heated for a long enough time and at a high enough temperature to kill the harmful bacteria that cause foodborne illness.

Chill: Refrigerate promptly. Refrigerate foods quickly keeps most harmful bacteria from growing and multiplying. Refrigerators should be set at 41° F and the freezer at 0° F, and the accuracy of the settings should be checked occasionally with a thermometer.

"Following these steps will help make sure we are all doing our part to reduce the risk of foodborne illness in our community", said James Lacina, Environmental Health Coordinator at Johnson County Public Health. "It's important to highlight these practices during this holiday season; however, these steps should be kept in mind throughout the year to ensure our food remains as safe as possible."

Online Producer: Jason Mortvedt

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