FAIRBANKS — The Department of Environmental Conservation has provided some tips for safe holiday food handling to prevent food-borne illnesses.
Here are the department’s four most important steps to reduce the risk of illness:
• Clean — Wash hands and surfaces often. Wash hands with hot, soapy water before and after handling food and keep the kitchen, dishes, surfaces and utensils clean. Serve food on clean plates and never put food on plates that previously held raw meat, poultry or seafood.
• Separate — Don’t cross-contaminate. Keep raw meat, poultry and seafood separate to ensure that juices will not cross-contaminate other foods.
• Cook — Cook food to proper temperatures and cook foods thoroughly. Cook roast beef to 145 degrees Fahrenheit for medium rare and 160 degrees for medium; whole poultry to 180 degrees, poultry breasts to 170 degrees and ground poultry to 165 degrees; all other meat, fish and ground red meats to 160 degrees.
• Chill — Refrigerate promptly. Keep hot foods hot with crock-pots and warming trays at 140 degrees or warmer and cold foods cold by placing dishes in bowls of ice at 40 degrees or colder.