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Holiday food safety: Avoid foodborne illness with 5 simple tips

Posted at 11:02 PM, Nov 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-22 08:57:36-05

13 Action News is digging deeper after at least five recalls this month.  From turkey to romaine lettuce, food safety concerns loom large this holiday season.  We spoke with a food safety specialist about the five things you can start doing right now to keep your family safe.

Timothy Moulson is with the Nevada Food Safety Task Force.  

"When you talk about foodborne illness, people kind of semi listen," he said.

But it is important to pay attention because this could be a matter of life or death.  That was the case during the deadly E. coli outbreak in 1993.  As part of his job, Moulson interviewed the parent of one of the victims.

"When she was sitting by the bed of the little girl that was dying all she kept saying was mommy make it stop hurting," he said.

There has been significant changes in the industry since that tragedy.  Moulson says food is safer now than ever before due to technological advancements.  However, he says there's five things we can all do to stay safe this holiday season.

First, keep hands clean by washing often.  Next, sanitize equipment and dishes.

"We have to hold hot food at 135 and above, cold food at 41 and below," said Moulson.

It is also critically important to buy food from a reputable dealer and cook food at the right temperature.  That's 145°F for steak, 155°F for ground meat, and 165°F or higher for poultry.

Moulson inspected the food safety habits of 13 Action News as well.