The Norman Transcript

Local news

December 19, 2013

Hosts should keep food safety in mind

NORMAN — Families and friends will soon be gathered around elaborate meals to celebrate the holidays. No matter the time of year or occasion, though, hosts should keep food safety in mind while laying out the spread.

Making sure you are handling food safely will not keep you from being creative and fun, but it will help prevent foodborne illness.

Foodborne-illness-causing bacteria can multiply or produce toxins to make someone sick in just two hours at room temperature. If that temperature is 90 degrees or more, the time limit is sliced to one hour.

That puts a premium on keeping hot foods heated and cold foods chilled to an internal temperature of 140 degrees or warmer and 40 degrees or colder, respectively.

One strategy for successfully achieving that goal is to set out smaller portions, especially if you are not sure how fast the food will disappear. You can prepare some dishes ahead of time and then just refresh them throughout the meal or gathering.

Put the backup dishes for cold foods in the refrigerator and keep dishes for hot foods in the oven set at 200 to 250 degrees.

You can monitor the temperature by using a food thermometer. If you are using a warming dish, know that some only hold food up to 110 to 120 degrees instead of the required 140. You can check the product information for details.

When it comes to cold foods, keep those items in the refrigerator until it is time for them to be served. If you believe those dishes will set out for more than two hours, place them on ice to maintain the cold.

Also, as you are replenishing items — hot or cold — throughout the meal, always use a fresh serving dish and serving utensil rather than simply filling up the emptied one.

Bacteria from your guests’ hands could contaminate the food, and bacteria multiply rapidly at room temperature. So using the fresh dishes each time you refill items helps cut down on risk of exposing your guests to potentially dangerous bacteria.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • Body 1 Police identify woman found dead Monday

    Norman police have identified a woman found dead in her home at 2202 Donna Drive Monday afternoon. Police responded at 1:25 p.m. to the residence of Cassandra Thompson, 30, after receiving a report that she had not shown up for work ...

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Residents speak out about document regarding shelter photos

    Norman and metro-area residents showed up in overwhelming numbers, many in red shirts, for an Animal Shelter Oversight Board meeting Monday night demanding for their opinions to be heard....

    July 29, 2014

  • Mixon’s attorney says athlete acted in self-defense

    The attorney for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon says the incident that left a 20-year-old female OU student with multiple facial fractures was a case of self-defense. “This past Friday morning, Joe Mixon found himself in a situation ...

    July 29, 2014

  • County moves forward on nursing home bonds

    Cleveland County commissioners on Monday approved a resolution authoring a county trust to issue up to $15 million for a nursing home on the site of the former Whispering Pines nursing home at 501 E. Robinson St....

    July 29, 2014

  • Breast Care Center will relocate to HealthPlex

    The Norman Regional Health System will move its Breast Care Center to the HealthPlex campus, making it more accessible for patients, hospital officials said Monday. At its monthly board meeting, the Norman Regional Hospital Authority ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Little Axe Health Center hosting blood drive

    Norman-area blood donors this summer will not only save lives when they donate with Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI), they’ll also get “Feel Cool” T-shirts and two tickets to the Oklahoma City Zoo....

    July 29, 2014

  • Woman arrested for allegedly bringing gun into courthouse

    Cleveland County sheriff’s deputies arrested a Norman woman Friday after she allegedly brought a loaded handgun to the Cleveland County Courthouse. Cynthia Bodnar, 52, of Norman, entered the courthouse through the east entrance shortly ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Man in critical condition after being pinned in wreck

    A Norman man remained in critical condition Monday after a single-vehicle wreck around 10:15 p.m. Sunday at 1100 80th Ave. SE. Norman police believe Justin Davis, 33, was intoxicated when he got tangled in his vehicle and pinned....

    July 29, 2014

  • Teen dies after drowning incident

    After rescue attempts by Good Samaritans and medical crews, Oklahoma Highway Patrol confirmed that a Yukon teen died at 5:50 a.m. Monday after a drowning incident Sunday at Lake Thunderbird....

    July 29, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Sunday: · 12:07 a.m. vandalism, 700 block of Asp Avenue · 1:29 a.m. larceny report, 300 block of North Interstate Drive East · 2:50 a.m. larceny report, 300 block of North ...

    July 29, 2014