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Food safety for the holidays – Audio

Food safety tips for the holiday

Kathy Glass, Distinguished Scientist
Food Research Institute
UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Phone (608) 263-6935, (608) 263-4045

3:00 – Total Time
0:16 – Household food safety challenges
1:13 – Best food safety tips
2:02 – Watch raw foods
2:40 – Warning signs for you
2:51 – Lead out


Sevie Kenyon: Staying safe with holiday food, we’re visiting today with Kathy Glass, Food Research Institute, University of Wisconsin Madison, in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and I’m Sevie Kenyon. Kathy can you give us an idea of some of the food safety challenges people face?
Kathy Glass: Throughout the year there’s going to be some challenges that everyone has to face and it probably becomes a little more challenging during the holiday season. And that has to do because of purchasing and preparing many foods simultaneously in advance and that increases the risk of cross contamination and also other handling mistakes. For example, if you have contamination in something that comes from a raw product, such as a fresh meat or a raw dairy product, it can actually be spread from that raw product to a ready to eat food within the refrigerator. It can be spread via using same cutting boards, the kitchen counter, sinks, sponges, and even hands. And then in particular with holiday season, with a lot of the social activities, it’s challenging to keep the foods accessible to the guests as well as keeping them both hot and cold at appropriate temperatures.
Sevie Kenyon: And Kathy are there some best management practices people should stick to?
Kathy Glass: Absolutely, there are four main rules of food safety and those are: to be clean, separate, cook, and chill. For cleaning make sure that your hands are washed and the food preparation surfaces are washed thoroughly with warm water and soap, both before and after handling foods. Separate, keep that raw food and ready to eat foods separate in the refrigerator and on the counter, use separate cutting boards. Cook to an appropriate temperature using a cooking thermometer. And chill, chill them to less than 45 degrees in less than 4 hours and also make sure you have a thermometer in your refrigerator to make sure it is less the 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sevie Kenyon: During the holiday season, Kathy, are there foods that are more sensitive that you should keep an eye on?
Kathy Glass: Well certainly any of the raw foods are going to be potentially problematic because they can be the source of contamination. Raw meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, those can be particularly problematic. On the other hand even cooked foods can be problematic because you can cross contaminate them with your hands or with something else that hasn’t been cleaned properly. And if that has been sitting on the counter for too long of a time or hasn’t been properly refrigerated, it can also serve as a growth medium for these bacteria to be able to grow. You enjoy eating them and so does the bacteria.
Sevie Kenyon: What are some of the warning signs that something’s gone wrong?
Kathy Glass: So what we are looking for are those gastrointestinal problems and if they don’t resolve themselves within a day or so, then it may be worthwhile seeking medical care.
Sevie Kenyon: We’ve been visiting with Kathy Glass, Food Research Institute University of Wisconsin Madison in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and I’m Sevie Kenyon.