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Keep Food Safety a Priority when Preparing Holiday Meals

By Renay Rouse

November 19, 2018

With the Thanksgiving holiday this week, many people will be busy shopping for and preparing foods to share with friends and family. The Florida Department of Health in Martin County is encouraging everyone to practice food safety while preparing meals this Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season.

Keep your holidays happy with these tips: Clean, Cook to Temperature, Chill and Separate.

  • Clean. Wash hands, utensils and surfaces before and after food preparation, especially after preparing meat, poultry, eggs or seafood. Be sure to keep all countertops and work areas clean and sanitized.

  • Cook to Proper Temperature. Read the cooking directions on packaging before preparing. The safest thawing method is in the refrigerator at 41 degrees. Make sure the food is cooked at the proper internal temperature and check for doneness with a food thermometer.
  • Chill – Refrigerate Properly. Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared food and leftovers within two hours. Make sure the refrigerator is set at no higher than 41 degrees and the freezer is set at 0 degrees.

  • Separate – Don’t cross contaminate. Keep raw meats, poultry, eggs and seafood and their juices away from ready to eat food. It is recommended that leftovers be heated to 165 degrees.

For more information on how to keep your family safe from foodborne-illness this holiday season, visit