Happy Thanksgiving! Let the feasting begin! Gratitude abounds! Especially from me to you for being part of Inner Workings. Really. Thank you for being here.
You’ll want to tag or print this newsletter to support you throughout the busy holidays! We’re talking about food safety: cross contamination, how long food should stay out at what temperature, and how to store it after feasting - or even day to day. Please share this newsletter with others who need to know!
And, as always, I invite your questions.
(My husband’s aunt used to store their partially eaten stuffed turkey on top of the fridge for days and days after the meal ended. They’d still eat from it. Don’t do that).
First, and I’m calling it out because I know how the holidays get: If you are sick yourself with a cold, the flu, COVID, fever, the sniffles, sore throat, cough, digestive issues, etc., you should not be cooking for anyone else. If the meal is not made to your standard or someone is disappointed because you didn’t make a particular dish, everyone will survive emotionally. I promise.
ServSafe training taught me the “Big Five” that are easily transmitted by food: Norovirus (what we think of as “food poisoning”), Salmonella, Shigella, E. coli, and Hepatitis A virus. Good to know that you can avoid them by following this guide!
Wash Your Hands When Handling Food (and lots of other times!)
You think people know about proper hand washing, but even when they know they often don’t do it. Make your sous chefs wash, too.
Soap, very warm water, and 10-15 seconds of friction by rubbing hands together are critical:
Sneezes and Coughs
Keep Separate Cutting Boards and Containers for Raw and Cooked Foods
Don’t Keep Cleaning Supplies by the Food
Eeeeeewwwww - Fungi/Mold, Yeast, and Parasites - When to Toss the Food
Most Food-Borne Botulism is Caused by Canned Food
Botulism is a rare, but extremely serious illness caused by any one of three bacteria, most commonly Clostridium botulinum. The toxin it produces can grow in food, wounds, and the intestines of infants. It attacks the nerves and causes difficulty breathing, muscle paralysis, and even death without quick medical treatment.
Wash Vegetables and Fruit
Options for Thawing Frozen Foods - All of Them
The Temperature Danger Zone for Bacteria to Grow
This is so important if you have a buffet that lasts for several hours!
Minimum Safe Internal Temperature During Cooking
Tip of the Month
This newsletter was full of tips already!
My tip this month, then, is to suggest you find ways to connect. Remember that no one is perfect. It’s ok to have different opinions - when you hit them, consciously find commonalities instead. Stuff goes wrong, and that’s ok. Seek out hugs. Play games. Take walks. When you need a break, take it. Ask for help. Join in creating a healing community. Love fully from the heart.
Blessings on you and your family by blood and your family by choice, now and always.
I am Mary Virginia Coffman (I go by “Mary Virginia”), a clinical nutritionist who focuses on mental health, digestive health, metabolic health, and nervous system regulation. My unique combination of clinical interventions, education, and coaching will help you feel well in body, mind, and spirit.