Food Safety for Moms to Be: Highlights - Fall Events

Highlights - Fall Events

Food Safety for Moms-To-Be

A year-round food safety guide to help keep yourself and your guests safe while entertaining.

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It's Spring! | Fall Events | Summer Fun | Entertaining All Year | Holiday Goodies | FACT or FICTION?

Welcome to Fall - the season to celebrate harvest, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and your favorite fall sporting events! Make these events even more enjoyable - and safe - for you and your unborn baby. The key is to handle foods carefully while you're pregnant and beyond!

Preventing foodborne illness is easy as...

1. Clean - Wash hands and surfaces often.
2. Separate - Don't cross-contaminate.
3. Cook - Cook to proper temperatures.
4. Chill - Refrigerate promptly.

For more information about the 4 Simple Steps to Food Safety, see Lifelong Food Safety

Boo!... It's Halloween
Follow these tips for a safe Halloween bash...

  • No matter how tempting, don't taste raw cookie dough or cake batter if it contains raw eggs. Harmful bacteria can be lurking in the raw eggs... so wait until the goodies are cooked.
  • Before going "bobbing for apples," an all-time favorite Halloween game, reduce the number of bacteria that might be present on apples and other raw fruits and vegetables by thoroughly rinsing them under running water. As an added precaution, use a produce brush to remove surface dirt.
  • "Scare" bacteria away by keeping all perishable foods chilled until serving time. These include: finger sandwiches, cheese platters, fruit or tossed salads, cold pasta dishes with meat, poultry, or seafood, and cream pies or cakes with whipped-cream and cream-cheese frostings. Cold temperatures keep most harmful bacteria from multiplying.

Remember the 2-Hour Rule: Discard any perishables (foods that can spoil or become contaminated by bacteria if unrefrigerated) left out at room temperature for longer than two hours. When temperatures are above 90° F (32° C), discard food after one hour.    

The best thing about the holidays are the leftovers!
Here's how to handle them safely...

  • Reheat leftovers to 165° F (74° C). Use a food thermometer to check.
  • Bring leftover sauces, soups, and gravies to a boil before serving.
  • Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within two hours of eating. Remember the 2-Hour Rule: Don't leave food out at room temperature for more than two hours. On a hot day (90° F or higher), reduce this time to one hour.

Time for Tailgating
Keep food safe at a tailgating party by keeping hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Here's how...

Bring Out the Hibachi! 

  • Grill hot dogs until they're steaming hot and hamburgers until they reach 160° F (71 ° C).
  • Usea food thermometer to check the temperature. Heating foods to the right temperature for the proper amount of time kills harmful bacteria.

Sassy Soups & Cider

  • Serve up hot soup, chili, or crab dip, but keep it all piping hot by placing these foods in insulated thermal containers. Keep the container closed until serving time.

  • Toast your team's victory with hot apple cider, but make sure the cider is pasteurized or otherwise treated to kill harmful bacteria. Unpasteurized cider may contain harmful bacteria. Be sure to read the label!

The Must-Chill Menu

  • If shrimp cocktail and cold dips are on the menu, serve them chilled on a bed of ice.

  • Pack perishables, like cold fried chicken, directly from the refrigerator into the cooler - and include a cold pack. Keep all perishables chilled until serving time.   

  • Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within two hours of eating. Remember the 2-Hour Rule: Don't leave food out at room temperature for more than two hours. On a hot day (90° F or higher), reduce this time to one hour. 

Happy Thanksgiving!
Here's how to make your holiday feast safe... 

  • Cook the turkey to 165° F (74° C). Insert the food thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh muscle without touching the bone to get an accurate reading.
  • For even heating, cook stuffing separately to 165° F (74° C). Use a food thermometer to check. 


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Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
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Page Last Updated: 10/01/2015
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