Food Safety Tips: Christmas Ham

Many people choose ham as the main source of protein at
their Christmas meal; generally, it is a safe and delicious alternative to
turkey. It is important to know, however, that ham is a perishable food that
requires proper handling. The best way to ensure a safe Christmas Ham meal is
to follow food
safety tips
for proper storage, preparation, and cooking.

Food Safety Tips for
your Christmas Ham

?? If you purchased a frozen ham, keep it frozen
until 3-5 days in advance of Christmas (depending on the size). Thaw it in the
refrigerator and cook within a day of de-thawing, if possible.

?? Always wash and dry your hands before preparing
or handling ham.

?? Prepare ham with clean utensils and ensure that any
surface that it will touch such as counters and serving platters is clean as
well.

?? Use separate utensils to handle uncooked and
cooked meat.

Cooking tips for ham:

Cook ham to an internal temperature of 145 degrees
Fahrenheit; pathogenic bacteria cannot survive at this temperature. The best
way to test for the internal temperature is by using a meat thermometer pierced
into the deepest part of the meat.

Once cooked, cool the ham as quickly as possible before
placing it in the refrigerator. If it is cold outside, you can cool it outdoors
as long as the meat is well covered.

Serving tips for ham:

Slice the ham and put out one serving at a time. If the
plate is running low, pull the ham out of the refrigerator and re-fill.

Any ham that has been left out at room temperature must be
discarded to ensure safety. Do not mix old and new ham together.

Ham storage tips:

Ham should be stored well covered in the coldest part of the
fridge; the fridge temperature must never exceed 43 degrees Fahrenheit. The ham
must be eaten within one week or by New Year’s Day. You can always slice the
ham and keep some in the freezer for longer lasting freshness. When ready to
eat frozen ham, defrost in the fridge..

Note that a pre-cooked ham with traditional salt levels will
keep in your fridge for up to several weeks. Keep it covered in a cloth soaked
in water and vinegar.

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Many people choose ham as the main source of protein at
their Christmas meal; generally, it is a safe and delicious alternative to
turkey. It is important to know, however, that ham is a perishable food that
requires proper handling. The best way to ensure a safe Christmas Ham meal is
to follow rel=”nofollow” >food
safety tips for proper storage, preparation, and cooking.

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Licensed since 1980

Member at firm Tario & Associates, P.S.

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