Media Release

FDOH-Alachua Encourages Food Safety This Holiday Season to Prevent Foodborne Illnesses

Wednesday, November 23, 2016 2:15 PM

This press release put out at the request of the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County.

ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The Florida Department of Health in Alachua County (FDOH-Alachua) reminds residents to practice food safety to ensure a safe and healthy holiday season for everyone. Foodborne illnesses affect one in six people each year in the United States, but it is easily preventable.

The department recommends following these key steps to prevent foodborne illness during the holidays and year-round.

  • Those with diarrhea or vomiting should not prepare food for others.
  • Keep refrigerators below 40°F and refrigerate perishable items.
  • When transporting food to another location, keep it cold to minimize bacterial growth.
  • Pack food directly from the refrigerator into the cooler immediately before leaving home.
  • Make sure cooking areas are clean, and wash hands, cutting boards, utensils and countertops often.
  • Wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling food.
  • Separate raw meats from other foods.
  • Use a food thermometer to ensure that foods are cooked to a safe internal temperature.
  • Divide all leftovers into smaller portions and store in shallow containers in the refrigerator within two hours of the meal.
  • Perishable food items that have been left out of the refrigerator for longer than two hours should be discarded.
  • Reheat holiday leftovers to 165°F and allow dishes to sit for a few minutes afterwards so the heat can kill any bacteria.

FDOH-Alachua Department Administrator Paul Myers said, “When it comes to our friends and family, a little extra attention goes a long way to help keep everyone well.”

For more information on how to keeping families safe from foodborne-illness this holiday season, visit

For more information, contact Health Communication Specialist John Gonzales at 352-334-7914.


  • Mark Sexton
  • Communications & Legislative Affairs Director
  • Phone: 352-374-5204
  • Cell: 352-283-2317

If you have a disability and need an accommodation in order to participate in a County program, service or public meeting, please contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275 at least 2 business days prior to the event. TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).