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CDPH Offers Food Safety Tips for the Holidays

Post Date:11/21/2017

Number: 17-084
Contact: Corey Egel | 916.440.7259 | CDPHpress@cdph.ca.gov

SACRAMENTO – With the holiday season upon us, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today reminded consumers about the importance of safe food preparation and storage measures to prevent foodborne illness.

Bacteria can be found in foods such as meat and poultry and may cause illness if insufficiently cooked, inadequately cooled or improperly handled. Also, it is important to carefully wash fresh produce, and not allow uncooked food to come in contact with raw meat or poultry. 

"We can help ensure that foodborne illnesses don't ruin our holidays, or any day, by properly preparing and handling meat, poultry and other foods," said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith.

Most foodborne diseases can be prevented by:

  • Washing hands with soap and warm water before and after food preparation, and especially after handling raw foods.
  • Cleaning all work surfaces, utensils and dishes with hot soapy water and rinsing with hot water after each use.
  • Cooking food thoroughly and refrigerating leftovers promptly between meals.
  • Preventing cross-contamination (from raw foods to foods that are ready to eat).
  • Keeping hot foods hot and cold foods cold.

Symptoms of foodborne disease can include diarrhea, which may be bloody, vomiting, abdominal cramps and fever. Most infected people recover from foodborne illnesses within a week. Some, however, may develop complications requiring hospitalization. Young children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems are at highest risk for potentially life-threatening complications. 

For more information about preparing and storing food, visit the following CDPH links:

Additional information on food safety is available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Meat and Poultry hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854). Consumers can also access the national Partnership for Food Safety Education's "Fight BAC!" (bacteria) Web page.