Avoid holiday food poisoning

The Kitsap County Health District has released a webpage of tools to educate the public on safe food handling practices for the holiday season. The hectic, party-going atmosphere of the holidays is when people tend to forget basic food handling principles, according to Cathy Franklin, Department of Health chief dietician.

"We see incidents of food poisoning go up during the holidays. People will finish their meal and leave leftovers on the table for the rest of the afternoon while they watch football or go open presents, then come back and pick at it. But food needs to be cooled quickly for storage and reheated to the proper temperatures to be safe," said Franklin.

Another common mistake that holiday cooks make is allowing frozen meats to thaw by sitting on the counter, said Franklin. Meats should never be left at room temperature for more than an hour. The Health District reminds residents to always thaw in the cold water, before taking off the original packaging, or in the refrigerator.

The Health District's website includes other safety tips, recipes, and holiday shopping checklists. Videos concerning food safety are available in both English and Spanish.

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