April 20, 2011
Media Release

Make food safety a priority during Easter

York Region offers simple tips to prevent food-borne illness
NEWMARKET – The Regional Municipality of York reminds residents that food-borne illness, also known as food poisoning, can occur if improper techniques are used when preparing and cooking food. 
Follow these simple techniques to help reduce the risk of food-borne illness this Easter. 
When purchasing food:
• Shop for refrigerated items last before proceeding to the cashier
• Ensure all meat, including lamb and poultry, comes from an approved and federally or provincially inspected source
• Check for labels and tags on the packaging or stamps on large carcasses – ask your butcher regarding the source of the meat
When handling food, remember these four easy steps:
1.  Clean
• Wash hands frequently using liquid soap and running water
• Keep cutting boards, dishes, utensils, countertops and food preparation equipment clean – wash with hot soapy water and thoroughly rinse after preparing each food item
• Wash fresh fruits and vegetables under cool running water, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten
2.  Separate
• Avoid cross-contamination of raw products and cooked products during transport, storage and preparation
• Use a separate cutting board for raw meats only
3.  Cook
• Cook food thoroughly and keep food out of the Danger Zone – temperatures between 4°C (40°F) and 60°C (140°F)
4.  Chill
• Store perishable foods (such as meats and dairy products) in the refrigerator or freezer as soon as you get home from purchasing them
• Store leftovers quickly after eating and eat within two days of cooking
When decorating and dying eggs:
• Ensure that eggs are properly refrigerated when they are brought home from the grocery store
• Before decorating, hard boil the eggs and cool immediately in the refrigerator or under cold running water
• Use an egg colouring dye that is food grade non-toxic
• Once eggs have been coloured, ensure they are stored in refrigerated conditions of 4°C (40°F) or colder
• Do not eat eggs that have been left at room temperature for more than two hours, including decorated eggs used for display purposes or those decorated by children
Common symptoms of food-borne illnesses include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and fever.  Residents who think they may be experiencing a food-borne illness should seek medical attention.
Visit www.york.ca/foodsafety for more information on the  York Region food safety program or for more information on this or any other public health-related program, please contact York Region Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653, TTY 1-866-252-9933.
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca
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Media Contact: Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, Community and Health Services, York Region
Phone: 905-830-4444 Ext. 4016 / After-hours Cell: 905-716-9753
Email: jennifer.mitchellemmerson@york.ca

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