January 16, 2004

Food Safety during Chinese New Year celebrations


NEWMARKET- The Chinese New Year will be celebrated on January 22nd and York Region Health Services reminds residents to take the proper precautions when preparing food for their families and guests.


Follow these food safety tips to avoid food-borne illness, also known as food poisoning:


        Ensure that all meat and poultry that you purchase come from an approved and inspected source. Check for labels and tags on the packaging.  Ask your butcher about the source of the meats and look for the following meat stamps: 

For poultry look for tags from a federally or provincially inspected plant (on the whole carcass).


Check for stamps on large carcasses and labels on pre-packaged items.


        Shop for refrigerated items last before exiting the supermarket. Store these items in the refrigerator or freezer as soon as you get home.


        Hot food items should be eaten as quickly as possible.


        Cook food thoroughly. As a general rule when preparing or serving food items, keep food out of the "danger zone," which is between 4C (40F) and 60C (140F). To do this, keep hot food items hot, at least 60C (140F), and keep cold food items cold at 4C (40F) or colder.


        Store leftovers quickly in the refrigerator and consume them within 48 hours.


        Re-heat leftovers to above 74C (165F).


        Avoid cross-contamination of raw products on cooked products during storage and preparation.


        Use a separate cutting board for raw meats and do not use it for other items.


        Wash hands frequently using liquid soap and water.


        Keep your work area clean and sanitized. Use a sanitizing solution of 5ml (1 teaspoon) of household bleach per 1 litre (4 cups) of water.



For more information on safe food handling practices or other health-related questions, contact York Region Health Services Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 or visit www.region.york.on.ca.



Contact:                       Wendy Lewis, York Region Corporate Communications Services

                                    905-830-4444 Ext. 1238


The Regional Municipality of York is committed to providing cost-effective, quality services that respond to the needs of our rapidly growing communities.  York Region is comprised of the following nine area municipalities:  Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville.  For more information, visit our Web site at:  www.region.york.on.ca

Contact: Patrick Casey, Senior Media Relations Specialist, York Region

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