Many people don't realize that food safety is the most important ingredient in preparing food for the holidays.
Holiday Food Safety Video (English)
Ready-to-Cook Foods: Follow Directions to Keep Your Holidays Happy
Eating them right out of the package, without cooking, could make you sick
Cookies are a holiday favorite – and this season is a good time to remind ourselves that ready-to-cook foods of all kinds, including raw, packaged cookie dough, do need to be cooked. Eating these kinds of foods right out of the package, without cooking them, could make you sick from bacteria. Cooking them according to the package directions before you eat them kills bacteria that could make you sick.
Whether it’s packaged cookie dough or a frozen entrée or pizza or any of the other ready-to-cook foods we use for convenience, cook or bake them according to the directions on the package, to help keep your holidays happy.
Most people who get sick from bacteria in ready-to-cook foods that aren’t cooked properly will get better by themselves, although foodborne illness isn’t a very pleasant way to spend the holidays. But anyone, of any age or health condition, could get very sick or die from these bacteria. This is especially true for people with weak immune systems; for example, the very young, the elderly, and people with diseases that weaken the immune system or who are on medicines that suppress the immune system (for example, some medicines used for rheumatoid arthritis).
Pregnant women also need to be especially careful to follow cooking directions on packages, since some bacteria are very harmful or deadly to unborn babies.
It’s a good safety tip to keep in mind all year, not just in the holiday season: Follow the directions on your ready-to-cook food packages to help keep yourself and your loved ones healthy.