Merry Kitchen - Safety Checkpoints to Ensure a Happy Holiday!

Safety Checkpoint #4

Hand Washing in Warm, Soapy Water is a Must-Do When Handling Food

During your daily routine, you come in contact with a lot of bacteria, so it is critical that you wash your hands before preparing dinner so you do not serve you or your family bacteria with their meal! Place your hands under warm water and use soap for approximately 20 seconds to make sure your hands are clean. I recommend singing the “Happy Birthday” song to yourself to know when 20 seconds has passed.  Make sure you wash under your fingernails and between your fingers, where bacteria loves to hide!  You should also wash your hands after touching any uncooked meat, poultry and fish or eggs, as bacteria from these foods can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce.

Safety Checkpoint #5

Always heat leftover foods to 165ºF.

The USDA recommends heating all cooked leftovers to 165°F in order to kill all potentially dangerous bacteria.

Safety Checkpoint #6

Food Recalls Are Not Meant To Be Ignored!

If you are watching the nightly news and learn of a recent food recall, you should immediately look to see if that specific food is in your kitchen. According to Rutgers University, only 60% of Americans search their homes for foods that have been recalled because of contamination.  You should immediately discard any food that’s been recalled because it’s associated with the outbreak of a foodborne illness and proceed to wash your hands thoroughly. For additional information about food recalls, turn to