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Carl’s Thought’s About Food Safety for the Holiday Season

When I was a kid, food safety was not at the top of our holiday list.  The only food safety I remember was trying not to drop the plate that was overloaded.  We would go to my grandmother’s house and have dinner on Thanksgiving and Christmas with all of my cousins.  I have four male cousins who knew how to eat and food safety gave way to clothing safety because their buttons were stretched to the point of becoming projectiles!  Even though we could all do some serious eating, we always had leftovers that could feed a small army.  For days, the food would be pulled in and out of refrigerators, reheated and eaten as if a famine was coming.  Food safety was not a thought back in those days.
As I have gotten older and wiser in preventing injuries, I wonder how we didn’t die of food poisoning.  Talking to my mother about this she pointed out that they really did watch the temperatures and thought about food safety (Mom, if your reading this, I’m not buying it!).  The USDA has put out a lot of information about food safety on the internet so I am not going to attempt to explain how it is done.  The best tip I can think of is eat out at a restaurant or make just enough so there are no leftovers.  This doesn’t seem like a good idea though because leftover turkey and ham make great sandwiches.
My doctor says that the emergency room is pretty busy after each holiday pumping stomachs of those who chose not to follow the directions for preparation, storage, and reheating.  This year, my daughter is having Thanksgiving dinner at her house and I’m sure we’ve trained her well about food preparation and storage.  Yes, Mom, we will be refrigerating all the leftovers as soon as we are finished and they have cooled a bit.  We promise to reheat everything to a temperature that should kill all the things (whatever they are) that can make us sick.  I don’t know about you, but eating out is sounding pretty good!
If you decide to cook at home this year, make it safe by practicing food safety.
Be Safe!
Carl Potter, CSP


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