December 20, 2007
Media Release

Celebrate the holiday season with food safety tips from York Region

Reduce the risk of food-borne illness during the holiday season
NEWMARKET The holiday season is a special time when friends and family get together to share good company and good food.  The Regional Municipality of York Public Health branch reminds residents to prevent food-borne illness, also known as food poisoning, by using proper techniques when preparing and serving your holiday meals.
Host a safe holiday gathering by following these food safety precautions:
 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 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 foods
 Provide serving utensils and avoid direct hand contact with prepared foods
 When possible, serve food immediately after preparation
 If you are hosting a holiday pot-luck, use hot plates to keep food hot and ice to keep cold foods cold
 If food is held at the proper temperature during the party, it can be stored as leftovers;  if food is left at room temperature for more than two hours, it should be discarded
 Uncooked eggs may contain Salmonella bacteria;  Be cautious when preparing, serving and consuming foods that may contain raw eggs, including homemade eggnog and caesar salad dressing
For more information on safe food handling practices or any other health-related topic, please contact York Region Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653.
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Media Contact: Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, Community and Health Services, York Region
 Phone:  905 830-4444, ext. 4016 or After-hours Cell: 905 716-2717

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