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Food Safety for the Holidays

The holiday season, when so many celebrations revolve around food, is a time when the risk of foodborne illnesses increases. And, since their symptoms can often be mistaken for the flu, it’s important to take the risk “off the table”!

The Partnership for Food Safety Education (PFSE:, which includes the American Cleaning Institute and its network of Be Food Safe food retailers, are working to help relieve anxiety about preparing a safe, happy meal for Thanksgiving and other holiday feasts with the Holiday Success Kit. The kit, which can be downloaded from includes:

  • Information on purchasing turkey, as well as safe practices for thawing and cooking
  • A holiday planner that includes a timeline and shopping list
  • Kids’ games and family activities
  • Menus and recipes, including ideas for leftovers

But remember that it’s not just in preparing holiday meals that safe food practices should be followed. Nancy Bock, Vice President of Coonsumer Education at the American Cleaning Institute, offers some basic steps to food safety.

Clean: Wash hands and food preparation surfaces often.

Separate: Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs away from other foods in the shopping cart, grocery bags, refrigerator, and on preparation surfaces.

Cook: Use a food thermometer to insure that all foods are cooked or reheated to the proper temperature.

Chill: Refrigerate or freeze meat, poultry, eggs, seafood and other perishables within two hours of cooking or purchasing – within one hour if the temperature outside is above 90° F.

A Perfect Party

PFSE shares these safety tips for perfect parties: Keeping cold foods cold and hot foods hot ensures that your brilliant buffet will be safe for all your guests.

Download a Healthy Guests: Happy Holidays flier now and plan a perfect party!