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Holiday Food Safety From a Disease Detective’s Perspective | KRVN Radio

Holiday Food Safety From a Disease Detective’s Perspective

Lincoln – Whether it’s visions of sugar plums, bringing some figgy pudding or leaving out milk and cookies, food is part of many of our holiday traditions. And, much of that food will be shared with families and friends.

“A lot of us are spending some serious time in the kitchen right now making or baking those special holiday dinners and treats,” said Dr. Bryan Buss with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). “Focusing on food safety helps prevent foodborne illness and keeps your loved ones healthy throughout this festive season.”

DHHS and local health department disease detectives investigate outbreaks of foodborne illness in Nebraska every year using surveillance and science to track down the cause. Some of the culprits they’ve identified recently include:

  • Salmonella – locally-sourced raw eggs
  • Salmonella – undercooked poultry
  • Salmonella – cross contamination related to improper food handling
  • Clostridium perfringens and bacillis cereus – holding food at improper temperatures

“Foodborne illness can vary from mild to very serious, but much of it is preventable if people follow proper safety practices,” said Dr. Buss.

Tips to prepare food safely:

  • Wash hands and surfaces often
  • Separate raw and cooked foods to avoid cross-contamination
  • Cook foods to proper temperatures and use a thermometer. Safe cooking temperature chart –https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/mintemp.html.
  • Refrigerate foods promptly
  • Don’t eat raw dough or batter
  • Use pasteurized eggs for dishes or drinks containing raw eggs
  • Follow the two hour rule – Keep track of how long items have been sitting on the table and discard anything there two hours or more
  • Don’t prepare food for others if you’re sick with a stomach bug

Here are some additional food safety resources:

 

 

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