Citizens For A Better Norwood

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, and eat safely!

Thanks to Norwood Health Commissioner Brad King, here are some tips on how to protect you and yours from food borne illness during the holiday season:

Many people travel for the holidays and bring food to share with family and friends. Enjoy a healthy and safe celebration with a few food safety tips help keep a food borne illness from ruining your holiday.

Packing Up for Travel
· Pack raw, cooked, and fresh foods separately to avoid cross contamination.
· Never mix raw meats – pack them in a separate container.

Keep Food Cold
· Keep food very hot or very cold to prevent bacteria from growing (temperature of lower than 41 degrees Fahrenheit).
· Place food containers in an ice chest. Make sure the ice chest is filled with ice. Maintain cold holding temperatures at 41 degrees or below.
· When reheating the food, make sure it is fully heated to 165 degrees, then hold at 135 degrees Fahrenheit or higher to kill any bacteria.

Keep Food Hot
· If you are unable to keep food cold while traveling - keep the food hot.
· Food must be kept at a temperature of 135 degrees Fahrenheit or above.
· Use insulated containers – with hot packs. (difficult to maintain the high temperature for long periods of time.
· If traveling with hot foods, you must monitor temperatures and maintain at 135 degrees or above.
· Upon arrival at your destination, check the food before you eat it.
· Check for the temps to be in the safe zone. (under 41 degrees for cold items or above 135 degrees.)

Once you’ve arrived
· Keep hot foods HOT and cold foods COLD. Hot foods should be held at 135°F or warmer. Use chafing dishes, crock pots, and warming trays to keep foods hot. Cold foods should be held at 41°F or colder. Try nesting dishes in bowls of ice. This way food will be held at a safe temperature for a longer time.
· Wash all counter surfaces, cutting boards, sinks, knives, and your hands with soap and warm water before and after every contact with raw meat, poultry, or eggs.
· Use the 2-hour rule — foods should not sit at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. Leftovers will be safe in the refrigerator for about 4 days. In the freezer, they’ll be safe for a few months, but most will taste better if used within 2 to 4 months.
· Store fresh turkeys in the refrigerator only 1 to 2 days. Thaw frozen turkeys in the refrigerator, allowing 24 hours for every 5 pounds of turkey.

Please contact the Norwood City Health Department at
513-458-4600 or
Visit our website at

Brad King RS, MPH
Health Commissioner