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Martin County Department of Health - Tips for Safely Preparing and Storing Your Holiday Meal

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Martin County - Thursday November 24. 2022: The Florida Department of Health in Martin County is encouraging everyone to keep food safety a priority when preparing their holiday meals, and storing the leftovers afterwards.

Here are some tips:

Clean, Separate, Cook to Temperature and Chill:

  • Clean. Wash hands, utensils and surfaces before and after food preparation, especially after preparing meat, poultry, eggs or seafood. Be sure to keep all countertops and work areas clean and sanitized.
  • Separate – Don’t cross contaminate. Keep raw meats, poultry, eggs and seafood and their juices away from ready to eat food. It is recommended that leftovers be heated to 165 degrees.
  • Cook to Proper Temperature.  Read the cooking directions on packaging before preparing. The safest thawing method is in the refrigerator below 41 degrees. Make sure the food is cooked at the proper internal temperature and check for doneness with a food thermometer.
  • Chill – Refrigerate Properly. Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared food and leftovers within two hours of preparation. Make sure the refrigerator is set at no higher than 41 degrees and the freezer is set at 0 degrees.

For more information on how to keep your family safe from foodborne illness this holiday season, visit

Printable fact sheets are available here:

For tips for preparing and storing your holiday turkey:

For more information about the Florida Department of Health visit: