It’s that time of the year when most of us are in the kitchen a lot. It’s hard enough escaping the germs from colds and flu, so who wants to deal with getting sick from food-borne illnesses on top of everything else? It’s easy, with some education, to stay happy and healthy in the kitchen this new year.
Let’s start with one area of food safety that has gotten recent attention thanks to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – raw dough (i.e., cookies, cake, breads)! Almost ALL of us have done it – licked the mixer beaters, the brownie bowl, or nibbled the raw cookie dough off the spoon. And it’s good. Really good. But unfortunately we are at risk for E. Coli or Salmonella by doing this, and who needs THAT during a time we are stuck inside the house? You may think you’ve consumed raw dough for YEARS and that “nothing ever happened to me” or that the risks are too small. One incident of food-borne illness is oftentimes enough for folks to say “never again” – it only takes once for it to happen and ruin an otherwise wonderful baking experience.
Take a look at what the CDC has on this topic along with some other really great safety tips that will keep your kitchen and food safe.
Below are some additional helpful food safety resources to keep you healthy courtesy of the Food and Drug Administration. Happy and safe eating to you and yours!
The Holiday Food Safety Success Kit , developed by the non-profit Partnership for Food Safety Education, provides tips on how to make sure holiday meals are safe as well as delicious. Recipes, shopping checklist, food safety tips, and children’s activities are included in the multi-media program.
This Holiday Food Safety Video shows how to store, prepare, and serve food safely to prevent food-borne illness from ruining the holidays. Follow these easy steps:
CLEAN: Wash hands and surfaces often
SEPARATE: Separate raw meats from other foods
COOK: Cook to the right temperature
CHILL: Refrigerate food promptly
Eating them right out of the package, without cooking, could make you sick
Cookies are a winter favorite – and this season is a good time to remind ourselves that ready-to-cook foods of all kinds, including raw, packaged cookie dough, do need to be cooked. Eating these kinds of foods right out of the package, without cooking them, could make you sick from bacteria. Cooking them according to the package directions before you eat them kills bacteria that could make you sick.
Whether it’s packaged cookie dough or a frozen entrée or pizza or any of the other ready-to-cook foods we use for convenience, cook or bake them according to the directions on the package, to help keep your winter months safe while baking.
Most people who get sick from bacteria in ready-to-cook foods that aren’t cooked properly will get better by themselves, although food-borne illness isn’t a very pleasant way to spend the winter. But anyone, of any age or health condition, could get very sick or die from these bacteria. This is especially true for people with weak immune systems; for example, the very young, the elderly, and people with diseases that weaken the immune system or who are on medicines that suppress the immune system (for example, some medicines used for rheumatoid arthritis).
Pregnant women also need to be especially careful to follow cooking directions on packages, since some bacteria are very harmful or deadly to unborn babies.
It’s a good safety tip to keep in mind all year, not just during the holiday season: Follow the directions on your ready-to-cook food packages to help keep yourself and your loved ones healthy.
Have a wonderful, happy, and food-safe 2019!
Source: Food and Drug Administration, www.fda.gov