Holiday Food Triumphs

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Hello Everyone,

Here at N.C. Cooperative Extension, Guilford County Center we love it when our clients have an awesome Holiday Season. One of the ways that we believe that you can have a great turkey day is through a meal in community with your family and friends. I know for me, I well up with gratitude and thankfulness when I look Holiday dining table with a spread of food on it. across the table to my beautiful family members and see everyone enjoying a special meal together. We also know that there can also be Holiday woes and we are here to make sure your Holiday meals are not one of those woes. We want to do this by giving you the 411 on food safety and proper meal preparation.

Food Safety Tips

Thawing food

  • Thaw food in the refrigerator. Needs to be done in advance.
  • In a package submerged under running potable water at 70 degrees F or lower.
  • In the microwave, if your microwave allows it. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • When putting the package in a water bath, be sure to change the water every 30 minutes. (not a preferred method).

Cook food to its proper internal temperature. Remember to use a thermometer.

  • Pre-cooked items: 135 degrees F, 15 seconds
  • Fish and eggs: 145 degrees F, 15 seconds
  • Whole beef, pork, seafood, etc: 145 degrees F, 15 seconds
  • Ground meats and injected meats, except for poultry: 155 degrees F, 17 seconds or 160 degrees F for an instant kill (lamb and veal at 160).
  • Poultry and stuff items: 165 degrees F, 15 seconds
  • Reheated Foods: 165 degrees F, 15 seconds

Cool food properly: 1.) Cool hot food to 70 degrees F within 2 hours. 2.) Cool food from 70 to 41 degrees F within the next 4 hours.

  • Utilize smaller containers to cool food
  • place container in ice water bath
  • Use herbs and spices in order to season food instead of predominately salt

Use unsaturated fats such as olive oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil instead of saturated fats such as butter or margarine.

Get Active

  • Take a walk with your family after enjoying a Holiday meal.
  • Practice portion control when preparing your plate.
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