DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — People gathering for celebrations during any holiday or occasion should be cautious of how food is prepared and what the risks are when it comes to presenting the food.

Greene County Public Health is issuing a warning for those looking to gather for the celebration of The Big Game. There are some tips the department is offering to the public to lower the risk of becoming sick.

Laurie Fox is the public information officer for Greene County Public Health on tips for a variety of categories.

When you are in the kitchen preparing food to serve to either yourself or your group, it is suggested that you wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds.

“You want to make sure when you’re handling raw meat or poultry, you want to make sure you wash your hands,” Fox said. “That is key in just about anything we do these days to keep ourselves safe and healthy.”

After washing your hands, making sure you have a clean surface is important too. No matter what surfaces you will be using to either cut something, like meat or touching a surface, like a countertop or stovetop, it should be thoroughly cleaned.

Fox says, “Clean and sanitize surfaces when you’re preparing your food; soap, water and sanitizer to make sure that area is clean.”

To make sure the risk of getting sick is lowered, if not eliminated, you should keep in mind about keeping all items of the same together. Fox explains that if uncooked products are mixed with cooked, the threat for cross-contamination can increase.

“You want to use separate cutting boards, plates, and utensils to avoid that cross contamination between raw meat, poultry, and foods that are ready to eat.”

Before you serve the food to anyone, it is recommended that you check the internal temperature of your dish and store it properly. After your food has completed cooking, you can place a food thermometer to check and see the temperature. When the food is done and you have completed your eating, the key to make sure the food stays good is placing it inside of the refrigerator.

Food should never be left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours or the risk of food poisoning could arise.