As you ring in the new year, avoid the common mistakes that can turn good food bad

virginiaThe Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services advises all cooks and food handlers to start the new year off safely. Don’t drink and drive, of course, but also be sure to observe the basic rules of food safety.

New Year’s Eve is famous for long-term buffets that let food sit at room temperature far too long and New Year’s Day is the king of leaving food out for hours without keeping hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Those are two big mistakes that could have some very negative consequences, especially for the very young, very old, pregnant women and people with comprised immune systems.

VDACS lists a few safety tips below but encourages everyone involved with holiday food preparation to go to for more information:

  • Clean surfaces and utensils properly
  • Separate raw meat, poultry, eggs and seafood from ready-to-eat foods and don’t contaminate plates or utensils with raw juices
  • Cook food to proper internal temperatures; check meats and poultry with a thermometer to be sure
  • Chill – keep cold foods cold and refrigerate leftovers within two hours
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