Department of Public Health
Thomas Carbone, Director of Public Health
36 Bartlet St.
Andover, MA 01810
Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Andover Health Provides Holiday Safety Cooking Tips
ANDOVER – As residents get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family next week, the Andover Department of Public Health would like to remind the community about best practices when preparing and cooking food to prevent foodborne illness.
“It is important that residents take the necessary precautions when cooking meals this holiday season to ensure that food is prepared properly,” said Thomas Carbone, Andover Director of Public Health. “Failure to do so can cause foodborne illness, and we want all our residents to have a healthy holiday.”
Typical symptoms of foodborne illness are vomiting, diarrhea, and flu-like symptoms, which can start anywhere from hours to days after contaminated food or drinks are consumed. To ensure residents are cooking delicious and safe turkeys, Carbone recommends the following safety tips outlined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA):
- Wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling any food. Always wash food-contact surfaces (cutting boards, dishes, utensils, countertops) with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item and before going on to the next item.
- Rinse fruits and vegetables thoroughly under cool running water and use a produce brush to remove surface dirt.
- Do not rinse raw meat and poultry before cooking, as washing these foods makes it more likely for bacteria to spread.
- Keep raw eggs, meat, poultry, seafood, and their juices away from foods that won’t be cooked.
- Use one cutting board for foods that will be cooked (such as raw meat, poultry, and seafood) and another one for those that will not (such as raw fruits and vegetables).
- Do not put cooked meat or other food that is ready to eat on an unwashed plate that has held any raw eggs, meat, poultry, seafood, or their juices.
- Use a food thermometer to make sure meat, poultry, and fish are cooked to a safe internal temperature — 165 degrees Fahrenheit for a turkey. To check a turkey for safety, insert a food thermometer into the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast.
- Bring sauces, soups, and gravies to a rolling boil when reheating.
- Cook eggs until the yolk and white are firm.
- Don’t eat uncooked cookie dough, which may contain raw eggs.
- Refrigerate leftovers and takeout foods—and any type of food that should be refrigerated—within two hours.
- Never defrost food at room temperature. Food can be defrosted safely in the refrigerator, under cold running water, or in the microwave. Food thawed in cold water or in the microwave should be cooked immediately.
- Allow the correct amount of time to properly thaw food. For example, a 20-pound turkey needs four to five days to thaw completely when thawed in the refrigerator.
- Don’t taste food that looks or smells questionable. When in doubt, throw it out.
- Leftovers should be used within three to four days.
For more information on food safety, visit the CDC’s website or contact the Andover Department of Public Health at 978-623-8295.