Advice for Holiday Cooks

Whether you’re an experienced cook or preparing to host your first holiday gathering, a little food safety advice can go a long way and ensure a safe, healthy and happy holiday dinner.

A Job Too Well Done?

Cooking to proper internal temperatures not only ensures the safety of your holiday meat, it also helps ensure the taste. To make sure your holiday turkey (or other main meat dish) is both safe and delicious, use a food thermometer to check for doneness.

Tick Tock, Swap

Many holiday meals are buffet or potluck-style. After you set your spread, be sure to set your timer: After two hours, harmful bacteria can multiply rapidly, putting you and your guests at risk of food poisoning. Help ensure the safety of your holiday smorgasbord by promptly refrigerating foods below 40°F within two hours. Or, as a backup for longer gatherings, keep a fresh set of food in the fridge and swap it out at the two-hour mark.

Insider Information

Many people cook stuffing inside their holiday turkey, but some don’t know the proper temperature to which it should be cooked! To ensure that your stuffed bird is thoroughly cooked, use a food thermometer to check the internal temperatures of both turkey and stuffing — a whole turkey should reach the safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F deep in the thigh; stuffing should reach 165°F. For safety and uniform doneness of turkey, cook stuffing separately.

Fa La-La-La Leftovers

Eating leftovers from a holiday meal is sometimes as traditional as the meal itself. Whether you reheat leftovers at home or pack a “leftover lunch” to take to work or school, take steps to help ensure the food is both safe and delicious. Always reheat leftover foods to an internal temperature of 165°F and make sure food is not left out of refrigeration for more than two hours. Pack perishable lunch foods in an insulated bag and throw in an ice pack to make sure foods stay properly chilled.

Festive Twist

A festive holiday drink may not be complete without a colorful garnish of lime or orange. But do you remember to wash fruit before adding it to your drink? Wash ready-to eat fruits such as pears and plums, but don’t forget to wash fruits with skin such as limes, oranges and lemons as well. This will help to eliminate harmful bacteria that can spread during peeling or cutting.

Source: Taylor Wolfram, Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics

At Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine, we know that the holidays are festive yet sometimes stressful time of year. As the year comes to a close, it’s time to looks ahead to the new year as well as your list of resolutions. At the top of that list should be eat healthier. Our calorie and portion controlled meals can help you do just that.

Choose 1 of our 5 chef-prepared menus that include Healthy Mix, Vegetarian, Paleo, Gluten Free and Low Carb today and get 10% off of your entire first order with promo code WPDEC10 at checkout.


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