With Christmas only a weekend away, it is time to do final check on your food safety practices. The following are the tips given by the Australian Institute of Food Safety. So keep them in mind with your upcoming festivities.
The following are some top tips of keeping Christmas food safe:
1. Good Temperature Control
This means that one should take extra care of refrigerating food. When you go shopping, take a cooler bag with you to help safely transport perishable items home.
While preparing the food, make sure you separate potentially hazardous foods from cooked or ready-to-eat foods. Ideally, raw meat needs to be placed on the bottom shelf as to prevent juices from dripping.
When it comes to cooking, make sure the ingredients are thoroughly cooked through and not allowed to drop to room temperature. Whereas with cold food, it should be kept chilled or refrigerated until serving time.
2. Safe Seafood
Aussies love having seafood during Christmas. Ensure that your seafood is sourced from a reputable supplier that has refrigerated it properly.
As to cooking, the seafood should have an internal temperature of 63° C needs to be reached before it’s considered safe to eat. However, if you are eating raw fish, make sure to use sushi grade fish, as this will have been frozen according to strict standards that are designed to kill bacteria.
3. Cleanliness Indoors and Outdoors
If you’re planning on using your barbecue this holiday season, give it a good scrub in advance with soapy water. If your having the party outside, bring clean coolers and picnic receptacles and clean them the same way and between uses.
Making sandwiches during the picnic? Make sure you always wash your hands avoid cross-contamination. Wipe down counters and other preparation surfaces thoroughly. Take extra care when handling high risk foods such as soft cheese, poultry, ham, salads, homemade dips, seafood, and desserts that may contain raw egg (such as tiramisu).
4. Trustworthy Leftovers
The best/worst part of the Christmas party is the leftovers. Make sure that the extra food has not been left out in the open for too long. The food should be left out for no longer than four hours. It may be a waste but throw it out if it has been longer. Better safe than sorry.
If the food is good to be consumed later, seal it properly and put it in the fridge as soon as possible.
What things do you need to double-check before your Christmas party begins? What practices should you place as you prepare for the feast?
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