Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Health department offers food safety tips

Planning for holiday meals should include more than a delicious menu and invited guests. The McHenry County Department of Health wants residents to practice safe food handling, as well.
Keeping “hot things hot (more than 135 degrees) and cold things cold” can reduce your risk of a food-borne illness.

Other safety tips:

• Thaw frozen meats in the refrigerator (allow one day for each 5 pounds of weight plus an extra day or two).
• Wash hands thoroughly with warm water and soap before and after handling foods.
• Clean all kitchen surfaces before you begin cooking.
• Scrub cutting boards with hot soapy water after preparing food to avoid cross contamination.
• Use a metal-stemmed food thermometer to ensure that food is cooked to the proper temperature. Food is safely cooked when it reaches a high enough internal temperature to kill harmful bacteria. Poultry, stuffed pasta and reheated foods should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Ground meats, pork and eggs should reach an internal temperature of 155 degrees. Beef roasts, steaks and fish should reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
Insert the thermometer into the center of the thickest part (away from the bone) of the meat. When cooking casseroles and egg dishes, place the thermometer into the thickest portion, making sure that it does not touch the bottom of the pan. Metal-stemmed thermometers can be bought at grocery, hardware and department stores.
• It is recommended that leftovers be refrigerated within two hours of serving time.

Food-borne illness is preventable. If you suspect a food-borne illness, call the health department for an investigation.

The staff can be reached from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at 815-334-4585. For after-hours emergencies, call 815-344-7421.

For more tips, visit www.foodsafety.gov.

1 comment:

  1. Really the food items should always handled with great care. If not this may lead to food borne illness which further leads to food borne diseases. Not only due to unhygienic handling of foods but also adulteration of food articles.Food articles will get contaminated with microorganisms like fungi, bacteria and parasites.. This is also a type of Adulteration called as Unintentional Adulteration. Food borne diseases are caused by some of these organisms. The micro-organisms include: Bacteria : Bacillus cereus, Clostridium botulinum, Salmonella species, Shigella sonnei, Staphylococcus aureus.
    Fungi : Aspergillus flavus, Claviceps purpurea, Penicillium islandicum etc.,
    Parasites: Trichenella spiralis, Ascaris lumbricoides, Entamoeba hystolytica, hook worm.
    I found lot more on food contamination and the types and also about other types of food adulterants which are very dangerous at