Careful Food Preparation Will Keep Season Merry

Dec. 15, 2004

by Judy Long

Families eat differently today than they used to, so many cooks are entering unfamiliar territory when they begin their traditional holiday food preparation. Keeping those holiday meals safe may take a little extra care, says Baylor University microbiologist Rene Massengale, but following a few simple guidelines will help ensure a festive celebration.

"Bacteria can spread from one location to another and get onto cutting boards, knives, sponges, and counter tops, so wash your hands and surfaces often," Massengale said.

Have you wondered how to get that sponge clean? Massengale can give you tips on the best methods. It's possible to cross-contaminate, so don't let bacteria spread from one food product to another.

"This is especially true for raw meat, poultry and seafood. It's especially important to keep these foods and their juices away from ready-to-eat foods," she said.

Food is a central part of holiday festivities, so when family and friends come together to celebrate, play it smart and take steps to ensure a peaceful holiday season. For more food safety tips, contact Massengale at (254) 710-2911.

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