Agency offers tips for safe holiday food prep

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The Kentucky Department for Public Health is wishing you a happy and illness-free holiday season, offering advice on food preparation and storage to avoid foodborne illness.

The agency recommends keeping hot food hot and cold foods cold, meaning 135 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer for warm food and 41 degrees or below for cold items. Anything on a buffet table longer than two hours should be discarded.

Also, be sure to wash your hands before handling food, and keep raw meat, poultry and fish prep on one cutting board and cooked food and salads on another.

Health officials say don't thaw the turkey or other frozen meat at room temperature, and cook foods to a safe internal temperature.

Store leftovers, including pumpkin pie, in the refrigerator within two hours after cooking.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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