December 7, 2005

Hosting a holiday gathering?

NEWMARKET The holiday season is a special time when friends and family get together to share good company and good food.
York Region Health Services reminds residents of a few party-hosting precautions to help prepare and serve safe party foods.
 Wash your hands thoroughly with liquid soap and warm water prior to preparing, handling, serving and eating food.
 Always use clean dishes, cutting boards and work surfaces when preparing, handling, serving and eating food.
 Thaw frozen food products in the refrigerator or in the microwave, never on the counter.
 Avoid cross-contamination of products.  Keep and store raw meats, poultry and seafood separately and away from ready-to-eat food products.
 Provide serving utensils and avoid direct hand contact with food products.
 When possible, serve food products immediately after preparation.
 Ensure hot food products stay hot and cold products stay cold.  Use chaffing dishes to assist in keeping food products hot and use ice to assist in keeping food cold.
 If the food products are held at the proper temperature during the party, they can be stored as leftovers.  If the food products are left at room temperature for more than two hours, they should be thrown out.
 Uncooked eggs may contain Salmonella bacteria. Be cautious when preparing, serving and consuming products that may contain raw eggs.  This includes homemade eggnog and Caesar salad dressing.

For more information on party-hosting precautions and for other health-related issues, contact York Region Health Services Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 or visit

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For more information on the Regional Municipality of York and the services our Region offers, please visit our Web site at:

Media Contact: Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, Health Educator - Media, York Region Health Services
 Phone:  (905) 830-4444, ext. 4016 

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