April 3, 2007
Media Release

Easter celebrations

NEWMARKET- As the preparation for Easter celebrations fast approaches, York Region Health Services reminds residents to take the proper food safety precautions when preparing food for their families and guests. Below are some food safety tips to keep in mind:
 
 Ensure all meat, including lamb and poultry comes from an approved and inspected source. Check for labels and tags on the packaging.  Ask your butcher regarding the source of the meats and look for the following meat stamps:

 Look for tags from a federally or provincially inspected plant
 Check for stamps on large carcasses and labels on pre-packaged items      
 When buying your food, shop for refrigerated items last before proceeding to the supermarket cashier. Store these items in the refrigerator or freezer as soon as you get home
 Cook food thoroughly and keep food out of the Danger Zone. The Danger Zone temperatures are between 4C (40F) and 60C (140F)
 If you bring home hot food items, they should be eaten as quickly as possible
 Store leftovers quickly after eating and do not refrigerate them for more than 48 hours
 Avoid cross-contamination of raw products onto cooked products during storage and preparation
 Keep your work area clean and sanitized. Use a sanitizing solution of 5 ml (1 teaspoon) of household bleach per 1 litre (4 cups) of water
 Use a separate cutting board for raw meats and do not use it for other items
 Wash hands frequently using liquid soap and running water
 
When decorating and dying Easter eggs this year, keep the following tips in mind:
 
 Ensure that eggs are properly refrigerated after they are brought home from the grocery store
 Before decorating, hard boil the eggs and then cool them immediately in the refrigerator or under cold running water
 Use an egg colouring dye that is non-toxic
 Once eggs have been coloured ensure that they are stored in refrigerated conditions at an internal temperature of 4C (40F) or lower
 Do not eat eggs that have been left at room temperature for more than two hours.  These may include decorated eggs used for display purposes or those decorated by children at school or during craft classes
 
By following these food safety tips you can reduce the risk of family members contracting a food-borne illness. For a food safety brochure or for more information on this and other health-related issues please contact York Region Health Services Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 (toll free) or visit www.york.ca
 
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Media Contact: Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, York Region Health Services
 Phone:  (905) 830-4444, ext. 4016 or After-hours cell (905) 716-2717
 Email: jennifer.mitchellemmerson@york.ca

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