The holiday season can put people at risk for food borne illnesses. Refrigerators and dining rooms are full, parties and celebrations are plentiful and some of the foods are only prepared once a year. Test your food safety knowledge by answering the following TRUE or FALSE questions. When in doubt, throw it out!
1. It’s safe to use a turkey that has been in the freezer for over a year. TRUE or FALSE
2. Because it has been cooked for such a long time, it’s OK to let the Thanksgiving turkey or the Christmas ham set out until you make sandwiches later. TRUE or FALSE
3. Leftovers should be cooled before placing them in the refrigerator. TRUE or FALSE
4. To save time on Thanksgiving Day, it’s safe to stuff the turkey the night before and cook it all night in a low heat oven. TRUE or FALSE
5. When there isn’t room in the refrigerator, it’s safe to leave food outside, in the garage or on an extra porch to keep cold. TRUE or FALSE
6. Since you’ve been using it for years, and no one has ever gotten sick, it’s safe to use the old family recipe for eggnog that calls for raw eggs. TRUE or FALSE
7. Because room temperature speeds things up, putting the large turkey on the kitchen counter or setting in the sink is the best way to get it thawed quickly, besides, there’s no room for it to thaw in the refrigerator. TRUE or FALSE
8. Because parties and buffet lines can go on for several hours, care should be taken to keep hot food hot and cold food cold.TRUE or FALSE
9. Pumpkin pies should be refrigerated. TRUE or FALSE
10. Perishable foods received from a mail-order company are always safe to eat when they arrive. TRUE or FALSE
1. TRUE. A whole turkey can be safely frozen for 12 months if the temperature in the freezer has been constant.
2. FALSE. Any perishable food should not be allowed to set at room temperature for longer than two hours.
3. FALSE. Food does not need to be completely cooled before the leftovers are put in the refrigerator. If you have a large quantity of hot food break it down into several small containers or chill in an ice bath.
4. FALSE. For safe turkey, the oven should be no lower than 325 degrees F. Once started, a turkey should be cooked completely until it reaches at least 165 degrees F.
5. FALSE. There is no guarantee that the temperature outside will stay cold enough to keep food safe.
6. FALSE. The American Egg Board does not recommend the consumption of raw eggs by anyone.
7. FALSE. Slow thawing in the refrigerator is the best method. It will take one day for each five pounds of turkey.
8. TRUE. If you know that the event will last longer than two hours, make plans to keep the hot foods over 140 degrees F and the cold foods below 40 degrees F. Instead of putting all the food at out early in the event, place small amounts on several serving platters and replace the platters after two hours.
9. TRUE. Pumpkin is a custard pie and must be refrigerated.
10. FALSE Even foods shipped from reputable mail-order companies may be mishandled and may be unsafe when they arrive.
By Cheryl Jones Syracuse, MS, Professor Emeritus, Ohio State University Extension
Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. But after learning that the quality of a croissant directly varies with how much butter it has, Judy sought to challenge herself by coming up with recipes that were as healthy as they were tasty.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.