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Holiday Food Safety

Cooking Risk: Unattended cooking is the leading cause of fires
Cooking Rips to Prevent: Panhandles turned inward prevent spill injuries. Pan fires should be smothered with the cover from the side, DO NOT use water, baking soda or salt to extinguish.  Close oven doors to smother fires inside, likewise with microwaves. 

Fryers Risk: Thanksgiving had the highest amount of residential fire damage and deaths in a single day. 

Fryer Tips to Prevent: Turkey fryer outside only and 10 feet from buildings or combustibles. Thaw and dry turkey before frying. ABC fire extinguishers should be ready to use. 

Trees Risk: Dried out Christmas trees increase fire risk. 

Tree Tips to Prevent: Bend the needles to check - they should not break. Keep tree trunk in water and check water level daily. Keep trees away from heat sources. 

Lights Risk: Damaged and misplacement of lights yield electrical fire risk. 

Light Tips to prevent: UL approved lights only. Check cords and lights for damage and replace or don't use. No more than 3 strands should be connected. Outdoor-rated lights outside only. Proper sized extension cords reduce electric risk. Don't run cords under carpets or through doorways. 

Candle Risk: December and Christmas day are the peak for candle fires. 

Candle Tips to prevent: Keep candles out of reach from children, pets, combustibles and trees. Extinguish all candles after use, avoid lighted candles if possible. Never leave burning candles unattended

Holiday Fire Safety Tips from the 366th Fighter Wing Fire Department given for the holiday season, Nov. 15, 2016.

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Although the holidays are filled with joy, they could also turn sour if your food isn’t properly cooked or handled the correct way.

Follow the tips below to ensure foodborne illnesses aren’t ruining the fun during your holiday festivities.

Clean: Wash your hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after preparing food. Wash all utensils, dishes and countertops. Rinse fresh produce with water to eliminate bacteria from the outside to the inside as you cut or peel them.

Separate: Avoid cross-contamination by keeping raw meat, poultry and their juices separate from produce and cooked foods. Never use a utensil used on cooked foods that was previously used on raw foods unless it was properly cleaned with soap and water prior to use.

Cook: Using a food thermometer when cooking meat and poultry will ensure your meal is cooked to a safe internal temperature. Beef, veal and lamb roasts should be cooked to 145 degrees. Ham, pork and egg dishes should be cooked to 160 degrees. Turkey, stuffing, casseroles and leftovers should be cooked to 165 degrees.

Chill: Refrigerate your leftovers within two hours of being cooked. Make sure to keep the refrigerator at 40 degrees or below. Never thaw a turkey, ham or other frozen meat at room temperature. Thawing should be done in the refrigerator. Allow two and one-half hours to three hours per pound for thawing time. For example, a 12-pound turkey should take 24 - 36 hours to thaw. Keep hot foods hot, and cold foods cold.

Holiday party tips: Never partially cook foods to be completed at a later time. Thoroughly chill foods to be transported and avoid cooking them more than 12 hours ahead of the event. Check with the host/hostess to be sure there is adequate room to safely store your dish before and after the meal.

From all of us at the 366th Fighter Wing have a happy holiday season!

For additional food safety tips, visit https://www.foodsafety.gov/ or contact Public Health at DSN: 728-7280