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KCHD PSA: Food Safety During the Holiday Season

December 12, 2023

Public Service Announcement

Date 12.12.2023

Contact: Arissa Hunt

Food Safety During the Holiday Season

This time of year, many of us gather together for work parties or family celebrations where food is a part of the event. These foods are often served in a potluck fashion where participants bring a dish to share.  These shared dishes may be prepared in an individual’s home kitchen or purchased from a commercial facility and brought to the event.

The Kendall County Health Department does not inspect or issue permits for potluck dinners.  We do, however, offer advice on how to handle foods safely in order to prevent a possible foodborne illness outbreak.  By following the guidelines listed below, you can minimize the risk of illnesses being transmitted through foods.

Foods containing bacteria or viruses that can cause foodborne illness do not smell or taste any different from safe foods.  It is imperative that participants preparing and serving foods for these meals follow the following safe food handling tips:

  • Always wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds prior to food preparation.
  • Always start with clean kitchen surfaces before working on the meal.
  • Prevent cross contamination by washing cutting boards thoroughly after cutting raw meats; store all raw meats below other foods in the refrigerator.
  • Wash all fruits and vegetables and store under refrigeration after preparation.
  • Prepare the foods as close to the serving time as possible.
  • Use a thermometer to make sure the proper final cooking temperature is reached.
  • Keep in mind that large quantities of food take longer to cool so put foods in shallow pans to accelerate cooling time.
  • Transport foods in insulated containers.
  • Make sure each dish has its own serving utensil that is kept in the food.
  • Keep hot foods above 135°F and cold foods below 41°F.
  • Reheat foods rapidly to at least 165°F before serving.
  • We recommend discarding leftover foods, but if you prefer to save them be sure to refrigerate the leftovers within 2 hours.
  • Discard any leftovers that have been out for more than 4 hours.

Following these simple safety guidelines can help you avoid foodborne illness during this holiday season.  If you have any questions concerning food safety, please feel free to contact the Kendall County Health Department at 630-553-9100.


Serving the Residents of Kendall County Since 1966
811 W. John Street, Yorkville, IL 60560   •   630-553-9100