You Make Me Sick

You Make Me Sick

Holiday HotlineBeing sick during the holiday season is no fun. Did you know the flu is not the only thing that can have you feeling under the weather? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases (CDC, 2014). This holiday season, UF/IFAS Extension Agents will be available to help keep you and the ones you care about safe by reminding you of the United States Department of Agriculture ‘s four steps to safer food handling this holiday season:


  • Wash your hands and your cooking surfaces before you start, when you will touch different foods, and after you finish preparing a dish.
  • Separate cooked foods and ready-to-eat foods from foods that still need to be prepared.
  • Always cook and reheat your foods to above 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Chill your leftovers. Don’t let your dishes sit out without refrigerating or keeping them heated. Throw out foods that have been between 40 degrees and 140 degrees Fahrenheit for more than 2 hours.

Have a question that is not related to food safety, like:

  • How do I make a brine for my turkey?
  • I ran out of eggs – is there a substitute?
  • I couldn’t find any buttermilk. What do I do?

…Don’t worry – call the UF/IFAS Extension Northwest District Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) HOLIDAY FOOD HOTLINE. Northwest District FCS agents will be available 8am – 8pm CST/9 am – 9pm EST by calling 850-888-2412 (December 15 – January 1) to assist you with food preparation, food safety, or any other kitchen concerns you may have.

The best part is you can always count on UF/IFAS Extension to provide you with research-based information!

Holiday Food Hotline


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2014). “Estimates of Foodborne Illness in the United States” retrieved December 11, 2014 from

United States Department of Agriculture (2014). “Check Your Steps: Food Safe Families” retrieved December 11, 2014 from



Author: Ricki McWilliams –

Ricki McWilliams is the Family & Consumer Sciences Agent in Walton County, Florida.

Living Well in the Panhandle


Posted: December 12, 2014

Category: Health & Nutrition, Work & Life
Tags: Living Well In The Panhandle, Sick

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