Media Release

January 18, 2012

Celebrate food safety this Chinese New Year

York Region offers tips to prevent the risk of food-borne illness
NEWMARKET – The Regional Municipality of York reminds residents to take proper precautions when preparing food for family and friends and ring in a happy and healthy Chinese New Year.
Follow these simple tips to help reduce the risk of food-borne illness, also known as food poisoning:
When purchasing and storing food:

• Ensure meat and poultry come from an approved source which is either federally or provincially inspected
• Check for labels and tags on packaging or stamps of large carcasses – ask your butcher about the source of the meat
• Shop for refrigerated items last before proceeding to the cashier
• Promptly refrigerate or freeze meat after purchase and store at 4ºC (40ºF) or colder
• Store raw meat, poultry and seafood on low shelves in the refrigerator to prevent juices from dripping onto other foods
• Food purchased hot should be eaten as quickly as possible or stored hot at a temperature of 60°C (140°F)
When preparing food:

• Wash hands with liquid soap and warm water before preparing, serving, eating and handling food
• Thoroughly clean your food preparation area, countertops, utensils and dishes
• Wash all fruits and vegetables by rinsing them under running water
• Do not thaw food on the countertop. Thaw food in the refrigerator, under cold running water or in the microwave. If you use a microwave to thaw meat, cook it immediately after it is thawed
• Use a separate cutting board for raw meat such as poultry, beef, pork and seafood. Never place cooked food back on the same plate or cutting board that previously held raw meat
When cooking food:

• Use a food probe thermometer to check the internal temperature of food to ensure it has reached a temperature that is high enough to kill harmful bacteria that can cause food-borne illness
• Wash and sanitize your food probe thermometer after each use
• Whole poultry should be cooked to an internal temperature of 82ºC (180ºF). Poultry pieces should be cooked to an internal temperature of 74ºC (165ºF)
• Beef and seafood should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 70ºC (158ºF)
• Keep hot foods hotter than 60ºC (140ºF) until they are served for consumption
• Leftovers should be re-heated to an internal temperature of 74ºC (165ºF) or higher. Do not consume leftovers that are more than 2 days old
Common symptoms of food-borne illnesses include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and fever. Residents who think they may be experiencing food-borne illness should seek medical attention.
For more information on this or any other health-related program, please contact York Region Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 or TTY 1-866-252-9933.
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Media Contact: Lisa Sposito, Community and Health Services, York Region
 1-877-464-9675, ext. 4106 • After-Hours Cell: 905-955-2533 •

Founded in 1971, The Regional Municipality of York is made up of nine municipalities
and provides services to more than one million residents, 29,000 businesses and 495,000 employees.

 For more information visit us at Follow us on : York Region   @YorkRegionGovt  
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