USDA explains why food safety should be at the top of all of our holiday lists


By Kristina Beaugh

Special to The PREVIEW

With Thanksgiving behind us, the holiday season is just gearing up. The next few weeks are full of good cheer and plenty of food.

To help keep your holiday season healthy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing holiday-inspired food safety recommendations for your Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve, Three Kings Day or other festive gatherings. These tips come from years of experience working to make sure that the meat, poultry and egg products you eat are safe, wholesome and properly labeled.

To start, download the FoodKeeper application. This smartphone and tablet app created by FSIS will help you evaluate what items in your refrigerator and pantry are still good and what may be past its prime. As you’re putting together dishes for meals at home or parties at work, it will help you make sure you’re using fresh ingredients. The FoodKeeper offers storage advice on more than 400 different food and beverage items and can help you decide what you can keep and what you should throw out. It also offers handy guidance on leftovers, which you’ll probably have a lot of after the big meal.

Steps to follow when cooking a holiday roast

• Use separate cutting boards, plates and utensils for raw roasts and cooked roasts to avoid cross-contamination.

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