Health Unit issues holiday food safety reminders

Renfrew County and District Health Unit released the following on Dec.1:

As we enter the holiday season, Renfrew County and District Health Unit (RCDHU) reminds residents of the importance of food safety. Reduce your risk of foodborne illness (“food poisoning”) by taking precautions when preparing, cooking, and storing food.

Foodborne illness is caused by eating food contaminated with certain bacteria, viruses, and parasites (e.g., Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes). These bacteria are sometimes found in raw foods, unwashed produce, and unpasteurized milk, fruit juices and cider.

To reduce your risk of illness this holiday season, RCDHU recommends the following:

  • Clean hands, surfaces (e.g., kitchen counters) and utensils frequently.
  • Always wash fresh fruit and vegetables with clean water.
  • Never place cooked food back on the same plate that previously had contact with raw food unless it has been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.
  • Use a cooking thermometer to ensure foods are fully cooked to the recommended internal temperatures. These include:
    • 82°C (180°F) for whole poultry
    • 74°C (165°F) for stuffing, casseroles, leftovers, egg dishes, ground turkey and ground chicken, including sausages containing poultry meat
    • 71°C  (160°F) for pork chops, ribs and roasts, and for ground beef, ground pork and ground veal, including sausages
    • at least 63°C (145°F) for all whole muscle beef and veal cuts, like steaks and roasts
  • Throw out perishable foods that have sat at room temperature for more than two hours as bacteria can grow rapidly. You cannot tell whether food is contaminated with bacteria by the way it looks, tastes or smells.

For more information on food safety, please visit RCDHU’s Holiday Food Safety fact sheet and website at https://www.rcdhu.com/healthy-living/safe-food/.

Renfrew County and District Health Unit(2022,Dec.1) Holiday Food Safety Reminder [media release]

photo: cotton bro studio on pexels.com

One comment

  1. Eve-Marie Chamot

    Btw, watch out also for “leftover rice illness”:- this happens with leftover cooked rice which is not chilled promptly after a meal and is allowed to sit too long above ~5°C and it is caused by the spores of Bacillus cereus which are not normally killed by ordinary non-pressure cooking. It’s actually best to fully and thoroughly reheat all leftover rice before eating even if it was stored in a fridge. Bacillus cereus can also infect other leftover cooked grains but rice is the most common boiled grain. The symptoms of a Bacillus cereus infection typically include sudden massive diarrhea
    and/or vomiting plus sometimes more severe symptoms for some people such as partial paralysis and occasionally even death. Bacillus cereus can even survive in distilled spirits.

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