Holiday Food Safety Nutrtion

by hopeful November 13, 2018

Holiday Food Safety Do’s and Don’ts

As friends and family gather to celebrate, it’s important to be mindful of food safety practices when cooking your feast. This is especially important if you’re expecting anyone who is immunosuppressed, like cancer patients currently in treatment.
Treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy weaken the body’s immune response, making it difficult for cancer patients to fight off infection.

To protect against foodborne illness, cancer patients and those cooking for them should follow proper food shopping, preparation and storage guidelines.
To ensure your holiday is happy, healthy and safe, here are some food safety do’s and don’ts from City of Hope’s dieticians.
  • DO avoid cross-contamination by keeping your raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs separate from the rest of the items in your grocery cart and refrigerator.
  • DO pick produce with no signs of bruising, mold or cuts.
  • DO refrigerate all perishable goods within two hours.
  • DO wash your hands in warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food.
  • DO use two cutting boards, one for fresh produce and one for raw meat, poultry and seafood.
  • DO clean the lids of canned goods before opening them to keep bacteria from spreading between food products.
  • DO roast your turkey at no lower than 325° F, until the internal temperature of the bird reaches at least 165° F.
  • DO microwave sponges daily or put them through the dishwasher.
  • DON’T partially cook dishes ahead of time. While preparing some foods prior to Thanksgiving may save you time, this method allows bacteria to grow and multiply.
  • DON’T forget to clean your countertops. Wipe down all cooking surfaces frequently with warm, soapy water.
  • DON’T trust the pop-up temperature gauges often included with frozen turkeys. Use a proper meat thermometer for an accurate reading.
  • DON’T cool food out on a counter for more than two hours. When your meal is finished, transfer leftovers into small, shallow, air tight containers and refrigerate.
  • DON’T store eggs inside the refrigerator door. Keep them in their original container in the coldest part of your refrigerator (the lower shelves or produce bins).
  • DON’T wash your turkey. This will only spread bacteria and lead to cross-contamination.
  • DON’T reheat gravy in the microwave. Instead, boil it on the stove.
  • DON’T consume leftovers that are more than four days old.

Comments from the Community

Please Join Now or login to comment on this article.