Make Your Kitchen Safer This Holiday Season

Gathering around the table with family and friends is an integral part of the holiday season, but sometimes, these well-intentioned get-togethers can also be behind the spike in the need for emergency care that hospitals experience this time of year. Make sure your kitchen doesn’t become the source of a food poisoning outbreak among your family and friends with these simple safety tips.

Stay Clean
The bacteria that cause food poisoning will have a much more difficult time taking hold when you focus on cleanliness while cooking. Always wash your hands with warm water and soap before and after handling food. Thoroughly clean all surfaces that come into contact with food after preparing each item. Rinse fruits and veggies and scrub them with a produce brush before serving. Never rinse meat or poultry, which can cause bacteria to spread across your sink and countertops.

Keep Foods Separate
Avoid cross contamination by keeping foods separated appropriately. Keep raw foods and cooked foods apart, and don’t use the same cutting boards and utensils on raw foods that you do on cooked items. Make sure foods that won’t be cooked, like fruits, aren’t exposed to contamination from raw meat, poultry, or eggs. Use a new plate to serve cooked foods, rather than a plate that held any raw items.

Watch the Temperature
Cook meat and poultry to a safe temperature before serving, so that any bacteria the meat contains is killed. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold before serving. Leftovers should go into the refrigerator within two hours of being served. If you’re not sure about the temperature of the foods you’re eating or don’t know how long something has been sitting at room temperature, throw it out instead of taking a chance.

If food poisoning does occur this holiday season, Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center is here to help with emergency care in Las Vegas, around the clock, 365 days per year. Come to our ER to get the urgent care you need in an emergency, or call us at (702) 233-5300 to learn more about our services.

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