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The holidays are here, and so are the gatherings with friends and family. Sitting around the dinner table is a wonderful tradition, but if food hasn’t been handled correctly, your party guests may develop food poisoning. Not what you want to share during the holidays.

At Horizon Family Medical Group, we want to make sure you and your loved ones practice proper food safety to prevent foodborne illnesses.

FDA.gov has some wonderful resources that can help ensure you handle food correctly. They suggest four simple things you can do to “store, prepare, and serve food safely.” Take a look at the following:


Make sure you always wash your hands before beginning any kind of food preparation. Take the time to wipe down counters, cutting boards, or other surfaces with soap and water to ensure you’re not spreading bacteria.


The FDA says you should separate your raw meats from other food items, including fruits and vegetables. You don’t want raw turkey juice mixing in with your tossed salad.


Cook the right foods at the right temperature. Use a thermometer to ensure meat is cooked all the way through. If you don’t already have one, you can usually find one at your nearest grocery or kitchen supply store.


Don’t leave food out on the counter for hours on end. If that turkey has been sitting out all day, it’s not something you want to eat again tomorrow. Put leftovers promptly in the fridge, and try to eat them within 3-4 days.

Take a look at this video from the FDA for more information on food safety.