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Wishing you a happy, healthy eating season

CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan – Basic nutrition is made up of the five food groups in a plate template that Marines can follow to maintain a healthy diet. Nutrition is providing the body with food for proper health and growth. Without proper nutrition a person’s health can be affected in many physical ways such as muscle break down and slow reaction times. (U.S. Marine Corps illustration by Lance Cpl. Christopher Madero)

Basic nutrition is made up of the five food groups in a plate template that Marines can follow to maintain a healthy diet. Nutrition is providing the body with food for proper health and growth. Without proper nutrition a person’s health can be affected in many physical ways such as muscle break down and slow reaction times. (U.S. Marine Corps illustration by Lance Cpl. Christopher Madero)

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – With the holidays around the corner, there is bound to be an abundance of delicious foods at parties, family dinners and other gatherings.  However, the merriment can quickly change to misery if food makes you or others ill.

To keep everyone safe from food poisoning or foodborne illness, follow these tips.

·         Clean: Wash hands frequently with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and throughout food preparation.  Wash food-contact surfaces such as cutting boards, utensils and countertops. Also, wash them in between preparing each food item.  Rinse fruits and vegetables under cool water before eating, but don’t rinse raw meat or poultry. 

·         Separate: Avoid cross contamination by keeping raw eggs, meats, poultry and seafood away from other foods that may be eaten raw.  Use separate cutting boards, plates and utensils for raw and cooked food.

·         Cook: Cook food at a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria. Color is not an indicator of doneness, use a food thermometer. The minimum safety temperature for different kinds of meats are 145°F for pork, beef, veal lamb and 165°F for poultry. Dressing, whether cooked inside or outside the bird, also must be cooked to an internal temperature of 165ºF.  Bring sauces, soups and gravies to a rolling boil when reheating. Do not eat raw or uncooked dough which may contain raw eggs.

·         Chill: Refrigerate foods quickly to limit bacteria growth that occurs at room temperature, typically within two hours.  Set the refrigerator temperature at or below 40ºF and the freezer at 0ºF.  Store pumpkin pie in refrigerator after baking. 

·         Defrosting:  Never defrost food at room temperature or on the counter top. Instead, leave in the original wrapping and defrost in the refrigerator, under cold, running water or in the microwave. Food thawed in cold water or in the microwave should be cooked immediately.  Allow the correct amount of time to properly thaw food. For example, a 20-pound turkey needs four to five days to completely thaw in the refrigerator.

Stuffing tips:

For optimum safety, cook stuffing in a casserole dish. Prepare stuffing and place loosely inside the turkey immediately before placing in the oven. Use about ¾ cups per pound of turkey. Mix wet and dry ingredients for the stuffing separately and combine just before using. Any extra stuffing should be baked in a greased casserole dish.

Leftovers:

Another joyful part of the holidays are the leftovers. Properly cover leftovers in airtight packaging or seal in storage containers to limit bacterial growth, retain moisture and prevent the accumulation food odors in the refrigerator.  Rapidly cool food in the refrigerator or freezer.  Refrigerated leftovers should be used within three to four days. Dispose of perishable and cold leftovers left at room temperature for more than four hours. A good rule to follow is, “when in doubt, throw it out.”

                               

For more information and tips, call public health at 707-423-5470. 

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