'Tis the Season for Delicious and Safe Holiday Meals With Tips From SternoCandleLamp

CORONA, Calif., Oct. 1, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SternoCandleLamp realizes the holiday season brings more entertaining and cooking than any other time of the year, as well as potential uninvited guests in bacteria that cause foodborne illness. With this in mind, SternoCandleLamp is helping consumers keep their meals delicious and safe with food safety tips that will ensure a happy holiday season.

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According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases. "SternoCandleLamp is dedicated to helping consumers ensure their holiday entertaining keeps family and friends far-removed from foodborne illness," said Thaddaeus Smith, SternoCandleLamp communications manager and executive chef. "By following simple, easy-to-remember food safety tips, at home entertainers do not need to worry about uninvited guests. Smith offers the following tips:

Safe Food Handling

Always wash your hands before and after handling food. Keep your kitchen, dishes and utensils clean. Always serve food on clean plates — not those previously holding raw meat and poultry. Otherwise, bacteria that may have been present in raw meat juices can cross contaminate the food to be served.

Cook Thoroughly

Use a meat thermometer to be sure the holiday roast is cooked thoroughly. Safe internal temperatures are: roast beef to 145°F for medium rare and 160°F for medium; poultry to a minimum of 165°F; ground meats to 160°F and ground poultry to 165°F.

Keep Hot Foods Hot and Cold Foods Cold

Hot foods can be kept hot with Sterno® Brand 2-hour cooking fuel which is ideal for chafing dishes and buffet sets. Cold foods can be kept cold by placing dishes in bowls or trays of ice and should be 40°F or colder.

Replace Empty Trays

Replace empty trays and platters rather than adding fresh food to a dish that has already been used. Many people's hands may have been taking food from the dish, which has also been sitting out at room temperature.

Storing Leftovers

Divide cooked foods into shallow containers to store in the refrigerator. Most cooked dishes can keep for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Reheat thoroughly to 165°F when food is hot and steaming.

"Holiday entertaining is for celebration, giving and sharing," said Smith. "SternoCandleLamp hopes consumers follow these simple food safety tips all year long, not just the holiday season," added Smith. Consumers interested in further food safety information can visit www.foodsafety.gov.

About SternoCandleLamp

SternoCandleLamp, the result of the successful integration of 119-year-old Sterno and 30-year-old Candle Lamp, is proud to be the trusted provider of portable food warming and creative lighting solutions for the foodservice industry. Fueled by imagination and a genuine passion for environmentally friendly product innovation, unrivaled value, and extraordinary customer service, SternoCandleLamp's product line includes wick and gel chafing fuels, butane stoves and accessories, more than 200 lamps, catering equipment, and liquid, traditional wax and flameless candles. For more information, visit www.SternoCandleLamp.com.


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