Holiday Baking Food Safety and Bake-Along
The Countdown to the Holidays is On!
2020 has presented some challenges so let’s not add foodborne illness to it! Here are some tips to follow for food safety while completing your holiday baking this year!
There are two main concerns in baked goods that could cause foodborne illness. You may have already guessed one which is eggs but raw flour can cause illness as well. There have been outbreaks of Salmonella and E. Coli that have been linked to flour since raw flour is not treated to destroy bacteria. We suggest not choosing recipes that call for flour, baking mixes, or pre-packaged doughs or rolls that are not fully cooked.
If choosing a recipe with uncooked flour you can do two things:
a) you can purchase heated treated flour OR
b) bake flour on a single baking sheet at 350ºF for 5 minutes
Steps to take Caution During the Baking Process
Before: Make sure you are starting with clean hands, utensils, and surface area.
During: Then wash your hands after handling raw flours and unbaked batters/doughs. Wash hands when changing tasks in the kitchen.
After: Make sure to clean work surface areas and utensils with warm water and soap after working with the batter/dough.
Decorating The Baked Goods
Make sure to use pasteurized egg whites for frostings and icings
Wash hands often during decorating. Do not touch your face or hair and try not to lick your fingers (I know this is hard with the yummy icing!) Bacteria from hands have been linked to outbreaks (Norovirus and Staph Aureus) from baked goods
Storing Your Baked Goods
Many baked goods such as your breads, muffins, cookies, etc. can be stored at room temperature (due to their low moisture/ high sugar content) but you will want to cover them! If you find that you will not consume them in 1-2 days, store them in the refrigerator or freeze. Wrap tightly to prevent staleness!
Baked goods that have creams, custards, cheese, meat or vegetable filling or cream fillings, or ones that are egg-based like egg pudding need to be held in the refrigerator for safe storage.
Freezing baked goods are an option but they will start to suffer from some changes in flavor and texture around the 2-3 month mark (6-12 months for cookies). Cream-based baked goods may suffer from sogginess or separation from freezing.
Remember that homemade baked goods are different than store-bought baked goods and will start to experience spoilage issues faster since they are lacking the preservatives that make them shelf-stable for longer.