Cooking with Care this Holiday Season

Cooking at home can be a great way to spend time with family during the holidays. Keep everyone safe by following these tips on food safety in the kitchen.

Clean:

  • Wash your hands before, during, and after preparing food.
  • Wash all fresh produce before cutting or consuming.
  • Prevent colds from spreading to your food. Keep sticky fingers out of the kitchen and cover foods if possible.

Separate:

  • Use separate cutting boards for raw meats and ready-to-eat items like vegetables and bread to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Ensure raw eggs, meat, poultry and their juices stay separate from foods that won’t be cooked.

Cook:

  • Use a chafing dish to keep hot foods at 135°F or above.
  • Reheat leftovers quickly and thoroughly to 165°F.
  • Bake cookies according to instructions. It’s tempting, but don’t eat the raw dough!
  • If frying foods, be aware of the cooking times to ensure food is fully cooked and ready for consumption. Find out where to properly dispose of cooking oil after use here.

Chill:

  • Use ice bowls to keep food cold (below 40°F).
  • Refrigerate leftovers within two hours of preparation.
  • Do not defrost food at room temperature. Opt for safe defrosting in the refrigerator, microwave or under cold running water.

What food tips or recipes do you have to share with us? Comment below and the first 10 participants will win a thermometer!

Happy Holidays from Environmental Health Services!

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Safe Steps for a Successful Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Experience

If you have a variety of unwanted toxic items at home, the safest way to dispose of them is at a County Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) event.

Before you load up the car and make an appointment, read on for tips to make your experience a safe and successful one.

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Put the Brakes on Frequent Oil Changes

Did you know many cars can go 10,000 miles without an oil change? We know you have got a lot of ground to cover and sights to see, so don’t waste time on unnecessary oil changes!

Reasons to change your car’s oil less often:
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Coastal Cleanup Captain Spotlight: Realtor by Day, Litter Hero by Weekend

“Everyone gains a better
understanding of watershed education when creeks, bays, and
inland areas are included in Coastal Cleanup Day activities.”
— Davena Gentry,
Bedwell Bayfront Park Coastal Cleanup Day Site Captain

Davena Gentry has been keeping the Bay clean at Bedwell Bayfront Park in Menlo Park for the past five years. As a realtor by day, Davena incorporates her love for the environment into her career, and has earned a Green Designation from the National Association of Realtors. She enjoys educating children about how litter flows downstream, where it often originates in creeks and streams before reaching the Bay and ocean.

Join Davena and many other earth heroes on Coastal Cleanup Day – Saturday, September 16th. Visit smchealth.org/ccd to find one of the 30 Bay or coast cleanup sites in San Mateo County!

Prevent Cigarette Butt Pollution

Milbrae Receptacle

Have you seen this receptacle before?  In 2016, four cigarette butt receptacles were installed in downtown Millbrae to help smokers have a place to stash their cigarette butts. The receptacles installed reduced butts by 49% near the installation area over a four month period.

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There’s a New Refillable in Town!

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Four million disposable one pound propane cylinders are sold every year in California alone.  Consumers are spending around $4.00+ per disposable cylinder, just to be able to use about $0.30 worth of propane gas inside.

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Be Fish Smart in San Francisco Bay

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We are so lucky to be able to catch and eat fresh seafood from the San Francisco Bay, but does it always make a healthy dinner?

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Dispose of Medicine Safely

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safemeds-3788-merchantThere are now over 20 locations where you can go to get rid of unwanted or expired medicine!

Find a location near you that now includes local pharmacies at smchealth.org/RxDisposal. Don’t see your local pharmacy on the list of collection locations? Ask the owner or manager to join the MED-Project Safe Disposal Program to make medicine disposal more convenient for you and your neighbors!

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5 Ways to Reduce Hazardous Waste

Here are five ways to reduce the amount of hazardous waste generated in your home and the time you have to spend disposing of it.

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1. Clean Safer
You don’t bake with bleach, but did you know you don’t have to clean with it either? Many ingredients you cook with can also be used to clean your home. Think lemon, vinegar, and baking soda. For cleaning recipes, visit: smchealth.org/safercleaning

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Because Pretty Shouldn’t Stink

Does your favorite nail salon have one of these?

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Certified Healthy Nail Salons that provide acrylic nail services in San Mateo County do!

The filtration system allows you to breathe easier knowing it’s there to protect your health by reducing hazardous fumes and dust that are emitted from chemicals in acrylic powders and liquids, nail polishes, and removers.

For over three years, San Mateo County has continued to partner with certified salons by providing a filtration system and continuing education on how to protect everyone’s health while in the salon.

Today the Program proudly recognizes 14 salons in the County and over 100 salons throughout the state of California, and the number of certified salons
keeps growing.

Is your go-to salon not certified? Give us a call, and we’ll help your salon “get the
stink out” by asking them to join the Healthy Nail Salon Program for free at (650) 339 9526.

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For a complete list of certified salons, and to get text or email discounts to a certified salon of up to $5 off, visit smchealth.org/healthynails