Food preparation safety during holiday weekend

Food preparation safety during holiday weekend

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - The Centers for Disease Control say over 21 percent of contaminated food is consumed in a home setting. Illnesses spread by eating under-cooked and contaminated food-including E. Coli in beef and Salmonella in pork to name a few.

"It gets to a point where we're cooking larger quantities," said Matthew Shackleton, executive chef at Doctors Hospital in Augusta.

So paying attention is key when preparing meals this holiday weekend.

One of the most important things to remember is keeping hot foods hot and cold food cool. Shackleton demonstrated a technique with shrimp salad, that needs to stay at a cool temperature.

"I'm just keeping it on an ice bath," Shackleton said. "It's covered up. If it's going to be outside, we're going to keep it covered as much as we can. Try to keep things in the cooler as much as we can."

Another thing to pay attention to is the meat.

"Beef needs to be 145 or above. Pork needs to be at least 155 and chicken needs to be 165 or above," said Shackleton.

Experts also warn that leaving out cooked food can cause illness as well.

"A lot of people seem to think once it's been cooked, we can just kind of leave it; It's fine. Then a lot of people, especially leftovers, will have food sitting out in a buffet setting, for a number of hours; then say, oh, we can eat that tomorrow. You really just got to be careful about that and making sure that we're not putting contaminated food in the refrigerator, then pulling it back out and eating it the next day," Shackleton said.

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