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Tuesday
Nov202012

NH DHHS - Food Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

Concord, NH – During this busy holiday season, the Department of Health and

Human Services’ (DHHS) Bureau of Food Protection wants to remind everyone

to follow some important food safety practices to avoid foodborne

illnesses, such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Campylobacter.



According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there

are 31 pathogens known to cause foodborne illness. Every year there are an

estimated 48 million cases of illness, 128,000 hospitalizations, and 3,000

deaths in the United States due to foodborne diseases. Symptoms can vary

depending on the illness, but some common symptoms are diarrhea, abdominal

cramps, and nausea. It is difficult to say with certainty which microbe is

causing a given illness without laboratory testing.



“Don’t let germs ruin your holiday activities by not taking proper

precautions against foodborne disease,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of

Public Health at DHHS. “There are simple tips for safe food preparation

that we should all be following every day, not just at holidays, but large

gatherings and people cooking outside their comfort zone can present an

opportunity for bacteria to be introduced into our food.”



The following simple precautions should always be followed by cooks and

food service workers to reduce the possibility of anyone becoming sick:

Separate: Use a separate cutting board for cooked foods and raw foods

and always wash them after use. Do not cut raw vegetables on the same

cutting board as raw meat. Avoid cross contamination. Wash any

utensil after preparing one food item before going on to the next

item.

Clean: Always wash hands before touching any food. Wash hands and

surfaces often during food preparation and afterward.

Cook: Make sure all meats are thoroughly cooked by using a meat

thermometer: turkey, stuffing, and casseroles to 165ºF; veal, beef,

and lamb roasts to 145ºF; and ham, pork, ground beef, and egg dishes

to 160ºF. When reheating, leftovers should be thoroughly heated to

165ºF.

Chill: Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within two hours. The

refrigerator should be maintained at 40ºF or lower and the freezer

should be at 0ºF or lower. Keep hot foods hot, 140ºF or hotter, and

cold foods cold, 40ºF or below. Never defrost food at room

temperature. Thaw food in the refrigerator, in a cold-water bath, or

in the microwave. When using a microwave, meat must be cooked

immediately after. Marinate foods in the refrigerator.

Report: Report suspected foodborne illnesses to the NH Department of

Health and Human Services by calling 603-271-4496. Often calls from

concerned citizens are how outbreaks are first detected. If a public

health official calls you to talk about an outbreak your cooperation

is important, even if you are not ill.



For more information, visit www.usda.gov , www.cdc.gov , www.befoodsafe.org ,

http://holidayfoodsafety.org, or www.dhhs.nh.gov . To report a foodborne

outbreak, call the Division of Public Health Services at 603-271-4496.

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