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Food is an integral part of most holiday celebrations. From potlucks to elaborate feasts, everyone enjoys special foods at this time of year. However, with consumption increasing, food safety is sometimes put on a back burner, and people can get sick.

If you do get food poisoning caused by someone else’s mishandling of food, you may have significant medical bills and other losses to deal with. Call the legal team at OFT Food Safety & Injury Lawyers at (888) 828-7087. We will evaluate your case and help you file a food poisoning claim.

Handling Food at Home

You will likely cook a wider variety and in larger quantities around the holidays. You may fix a Thanksgiving turkey and Christmas ham. Mashed potatoes and green beans will also most likely be on your menu. However, during your busy days, keep these tips in mind to keep your friends and family safe.

1. Stay Clean

You should wash your food, hands, counters, and cooking tools frequently. Make sure you wash your hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds. You should do this before and after touching food. Keep cooking tools like cutting boards, dishes, and utensils clean with hot soapy water. Every time food touches your cooking tools, they should be cleaned. Countertops should be washed and sanitized frequently, especially if foods are sitting on them. Rinse fruits and vegetables, and don’t forget to clean the lids of canned goods before you open them.

2. Separate and Keep Foods Apart

Raw foods should be kept separate from cooked items, as germs can easily spread from one to another. Raw meats, especially poultry, seafood, and eggs, should be kept away from other foods in your shopping cart, refrigerator, and inside bags. Don’t use marinades for sauces or gravies if they were used on raw foods unless you first boil them. Use a special cutting board for raw meats and a bowl to keep it away from kitchen surfaces before cooking.

3. Cook Foods To Appropriate Temperatures

Heat kills germs, so you should be sure to get foods to specific temperatures and keep them there. If you leave foods out in a potluck fashion, you need to have a way to keep foods hot. If they begin to cool and are left out, they will grow bacteria that can cause food poisoning.

Here’s a quick look at temperatures for common meats:

  • Beef, pork, and lamb – 145°F
  • Fish – 145°F
  • Ground beef, ground pork, and ground lamb – 160°F
  • Turkey, chicken, and duck – 165°F

You won’t always be able to tell how “done” food is by looking at the color, so you should use a food thermometer.

4. Chill Food Right Away

Your refrigerator is a safe place for food because it will prevent bacteria from growing. You should even marinate foods in the refrigerator. Follow the 2-hour rule. Put food in the fridge or freezer within two hours of cooking it or buying it from the store. Don’t thaw foods on the counter. Instead, thaw food in the refrigerator, under cold water, or in the microwave.

Call a Food Safety Lawyer if You Get Sick From Mishandled Food

You may be unsure of what to do after you get food poisoning. You likely feel terrible and have medical bills piling up. However, you may not want to blame friends or family for your illness. Chances are other people have been hurt too. There’s also a chance your food was handled properly, and the manufacturer is to blame. Reach out to a food safety lawyer to find out exactly what you should do. Call OFT Food Safety & Injury Lawyers today at (888) 828-7087 or use our online contact form.

Notable Recoveries

$10 million

Seven infants were sickened after consuming a contaminated food product marketed to infants

$6.5 million

Verdict on behalf of a little boy who contracted a severe Salmonella infection from chicken

$7.55 million

Verdict on behalf of a little girl who contracted E. coli at a petting zoo

$2.25 million

E. coli infections contracted from a major fast food chain

$45 million

An over-the-counter medication caused severe kidney damage to multiple users

$3.4 million

A pregnant woman contracted a Listeria infection from contaminated fruit and passed the infection to her child

$3 million

Multistate Cyclospora outbreaks

$275,000

A couple contracted Salmonella from a restaurant

$525,000

A pedestrian was struck by a left-turning car, fracturing her tibia

$700,000

A semi-truck rear-ended a motorcyclist causing a collapsed lung, rib fractures and road rash