Due to the many food issues during the holiday season
we have decided to publish some holiday food tips:
The holiday season is always a time when many people experience food poisoning. Our department would like to help all the people out there worried about their food safety to try and avoid this painful experience. In the next few paragraphs this page will address some common and new holiday food issues. For further information feel free to follow the links at the bottom of this page.
General Food Safety Tips for Safe Holiday Eating
(from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment):
Keep your children safe from Foodborne Ilnesses
- Thaw foods in the refrigerator rather than at room temperature. Also don't forget to allow enough time for the food to thaw in the refrigerator (e.g. 24 hours for every 5 pounds of turkey or ham)
- Use a meat thermometer. Turkey and stuffing should be cooked thoroughly to 165 degrees Fahrenheit and ham to at least 155 degrees Fahrenheit before serving.
- Recipes requiring eggs must be cooked thoroughly to at least 140 degrees.
- If cooking a turkey, cook stuffing outside of the bird for optimum safety and uniform doneness. If the turkey is stuffed, allow approximately five minutes extra per pound longer for cooking. Remember that the center of the stuffing must reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- If egg dishes do not require cooking, such as homemade eggnog, use pasteurized egg substitutes instead of shell eggs.
- Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water before food preparation and after handling raw meat products.
- Refrigerate leftovers as soon as possible to prevent bacterial growth. Place foods containing meat, milk, eggs, fish or poultry in the refrigerator within four hours after cooking is completed. This includes pumpkin and custard pies.
- Thoroughly clean and sanitize knives, cutting boards and other utensils before and after preparing raw foods and foods that do not require further cooking. A sanitizing solution can be prepared using one tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water.
- Thoroughly wash all fresh fruits and vegetables before cooking or eating.
(info from Food Safety Inspection Service):
Simple Turkey Preperation Tips
- Holiday Buffet Rules:
- Serve hot foods (e.g. turkey, ham, meatballs) at a hot temperature and serve them frequently.
- Cold foods (e.g. chicken salad, potato salad) should be kept and served cold.
- Any perishable foods on the buffet table that are not served with a hot source (such as chafing dishes or slow cookers) or cold source (such as by nesting serving dishes in bowls of ice) should be discarded after two hours at room temperature.
- Risky Foods:
- Foods that contain raw eggs or lightly cooked eggs (e.g. Don't let your child eat the self-made raw batter of cookie dough because if it contains raw egg it may contain Salmonella)
- Commercial eggnog is pasturized, meaning it has been heated at a high enough temperature to kill bacteria that may have been present in raw ingredients.
- When making your own eggnog make sure to use a recipe that calls for slowly heating the mixture to 160 ºF, which will maintain the taste and texture while also killing bacteria.
- Follow these four USDA recommended steps to Food Safety:
- Clean. Wash hands and surfaces often.
- Separate. Separate raw meat, poultry, and egg products from cooked foods to avoid cross contamination.
- Cook. Raw meat, poultry, and egg products need to be cooked thoroughly. Use a food thermometer to ensure foods have reached a high enough temperature to kill any harmful bacteria that may be present.
- Chill. Store leftovers within two hours of cooking.
(from the Food Safety Inspection Service):
Also, if you are planning on ordering food through the mail please follow this link for further information on this topic:
- Plan your menu ahead of time, so you that you may reduce anxiety by knowing which ingredients to purchase.
- If you buy a fresh turkey, make sure you purchase it 1-2 days before cooking.
- Do not buy a prestuffed fresh turkey.
- Thawing Tips:
- Try to thaw your turkey in the refrigerator (40 °F).
Allow approximately 24 hours per 5 pounds of turkey.
- If you forget to thaw the turkey in the refrigerator you can thaw it in cold water. Allow about 30 minutes of defrosting time per turkey and make sure to change the water every 30 minutes.
- Microwave thawing is safe if the turkey is not too large. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for the size turkey that will fit into your oven, the minutes per pound, and the power level to use for thawing. Cook immediately after thawing.
- Prepearation Tips:
- Use a meat thermometer. The temperature in the thigh should be 180 °F. The temperature in the rest of the bird should be no less than 160 °F. The temperature of the stuffing should be 165 °F no matter if it was inside or outside of the bird.
What we do?
One of the many responsibilities of the University Public Health (UPH) Office is to manage the air quality across campus. The goal of the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) program is to help the University maintain a safe indoor air quality environment for all employees and students, and to identify potential hazards and have them corrected.
If you happen to have any problems with your air quality on campus please don't hesitate to call the Public Health Office at (970) 491-6121.
How to report an odor/indoor air quality problem?
If you experience very strong and extremely irritating odors/fumes in your work area and you feel that you need emergency medical attention, leave the area at once and call 911.
All other non-immediately life threatening odors- call (970) 491-6121
Zoonosis - Animal and Insect (some diseases)
Zoonosis diseases are diseases which are transmitted from animals to humans. Examples include rabies and West Nile Virus. Since West Nile virus is a newly emerging disease of concern within the topic of Zoonosis we have provided you with a link that has information about this topic (West Nile Info).
Wildlife related Issues
UPH assists the campus community with a variety of outdoor issues (i.e. bees, hornets, etc) as well as indoor issues (i.e. ants, flies, roaches, rodents, etc.).
University Integrated Pest Management
The UPH oversees the approval, safe handling, and application of pest management products throughout campus. For additional information concerning pest management please visit the
CSU Colorado Environmental Pesticide Education Program page.
University Pesticide Safety Committee
Jeannine Riess is the chair of the Pesticide Safety Committee. Membership of the committee consists of a variety of representatives from the general CSU community.
The Public Pool Safety Program applies to pools and spas located on campus property. University Public Health is very concerned with the health and safety of all CSU pool users and as part of our commitment to the sanitation and safety of pools and spas across campus, we administer weekly samples of pools that focus on water chemistry and bacteriological quality of the water, investigation complaints concerning pool sanitation and safety, and ensure the proper operation and maintenance of the pools as well as proper storage of the maintenance chemicals. The Public Pool Safety Program protects public health and comfort by monitoring the campus swimming and spa facilities for compliance with the Colorado Regulations Pertaining to Swimming Pools and Spas, thereby, providing a safe environment to enjoy recreational swimming on campus property. (To make a complaint please call the Public Health Office at (970) 491-6121).
UPH is very concerned with making sure that all sewage on campus is disposed of appropriately as required by law. For example, water used in labs or water from toilets must be disposed of to sanitary sewers. If sewer lines break UPH is here to make sure none of the sewer water runs into storm water drains as well as a number of other water issues.
Cross Connection Control
A cross-connection is any unprotected actual or potential physical connection or structure arrangement of piping or fixtures between a consumer's water system and the public potable water system through which it is possible to introduce into any part of the public potable water system any used water, industrial fluid, gas, liquid, solid, or any other substance. Chemical pollutants or even just sewage could be introduced into the potable water system in those areas. It is UPH's concern that this does not happen.
Illicit Discharge, Detection and Elimination: According to the 1996 National Water Quality Inventory, stormwater runoff is a leading source of water pollution. Every year thousands of gallons of water from storms and snowmelt enter the storm drains of Fort Collins. This runoff picks up and carries numerous contaminants and pollutants (pesticides, oils, metals, sediment, animal waste, etc.) and carries them into our storm drains. This water DOES NOT go to treatment plants as sewer waters do. Storm drains are set up to divert excess water and flow directly into the Poudre River.
What is an illicit discharge?
An illicit discharge is any discharge to the storm sewer system that is not composed entirely of stormwater, except for a short list of allowable discharges (see below). Illicit discharges include runoff from contaminated sites and deliberate dumping of contaminants that drain untreated into our waterways. Parameters of special concern include heavy metals, toxics, oil and grease, solvents, nutrients, pathogens, and bacteria.
Allowable Non-Stormwater Discharges
Following is a list of non-stormwater discharges that are allowed under the MS4, but only as long as they are not a “significant contributor of pollution.”
Reporting an Incident
- Landscape irrigation
- Lawn watering
- Diverted stream flows
- Irrigation return flow
- Rising groundwater
- Uncontaminated groundwater infiltration
- Uncontaminated pumped groundwater
- Flows from riparian habitats and wetlands
- Water line flushing
- Discharges from potable water sources
- Foundation drains
- Air conditioning condensation
- Water from crawl space pumps
- Footing drains
- Individual residential car washing
- Dechlorinated swimming pool discharges
- Street wash water
Someone washing paint down a storm drain, a river of antifreeze flowing from a vehicle, or sewage coming out of a manhole are all illicit discharges to the storm water system. If you observe an illicit discharge occurring on campus, please report the incident to CSU Police Department at 491-6425.
To learn more about stormwater and illicit discharges visit one of the following websites:
UPH tries to ensure that the campus community (i.e. laboratories) do not pollute the state waters. Some concerns include animal runoff in which UPH tries to prevent the raw sewage from the animals flowing into storm drains and polluting state water supplies.
UPH performs licensing inspections and consultative services concerning Day Care and Day Camp Sanitation across campus.
UPH ensures that solid wastes on campus are disposed of in a safe and effective manner. Other departments on campus like Hazardous Waste and Radiation Control regularily pick their respective wastes up every week to ensure their proper disposal.
University Public Health is concerned with food safety, solid waste disposal, safe drinking water, proper sewage disposal, dust control, as well as numerous other Environmental Health related issues at every CSU sponsored special event. Our office has guidelines and applications for organizations planning on hosting a special event on campus. The university has a University Special Events Activities Group that may be contacted at 970-491-6121 regarding any information about special events , or to acquire guidelines and requirements.