NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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A Food Safe Twas the Night Before Christmas

A Food Safe Twas the Night Before Christmas


Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house and arboretum,

Not a creature was stirring, not even a bacterium


The hand wipes were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that clean hands would soon be there


The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of cold-free days danced in their heads


And mama in her kerchief and I in my cap, had just checked the smoke detector batteries before a long winter’s nap


When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what the matter was


Away to the window I carefully walked down the well-lit stairs, tore open the shutters and threw up the sash


The moon, on the breast of the new-fallen snow, gave a luster of germ free surfaces to objects below


When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny health inspectors


With a little old driver so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick


More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, and he whistled and shouted and reminded them all


Now, keep raw foods separated! Now, use small containers to cool foods quickly! On the counter is never a place to thaw meat!  On the buffet table your foods cannot sit for more than 2 hours! On the same platter as used for raw foods, never serve cooked foods!  To the top of the food pyramid is where Christmas sweets are found! To the top of the five fruits and vegetables a day list is where you want to be found!  Now, dash away and find that meat thermometer! Dash away and clear sidewalks so all can walk safely, dash away ice all!


As germs before a safe cooking time fly, when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky, so up to the housetop they flew, with the sleigh full of refrigerator thermometers, and the health inspectors too


And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof, the prancing and pawing of each little hoof


As I drew in my head and was thinking of checking the oven temperature too, down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound


He was dress all in fur, from his head to his foot

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot


I could tell stain removal would be next question he had for our local Extension Office

A bundle of microwave safe dishes, he had flung on his back

And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack


His eyes – how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!

His healthy eating habits had given him a glow bright as a cherry


His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow

And the beard of his chin was as white as a clean cutting board


The stump of a carrot stick he held tight in his teeth,

As Santa gave up smoking centuries ago and now fresh air circled his head like a wreath


He had a broad face and a very, very little round belly

That shook when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly

His weight to height ratio had improved greatly since walking for his health


He was leaner and stronger and an even jollier old elf

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself


A wink of his eye and a twist of his head

Soon gave me to know that by following food safe guidelines, I had nothing to dread


He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk


And laying a finger aside of his nose,

Dashed off to the wash his hands for at least 20 seconds before he arose


He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle

And away they all flew like a down of a thistle


But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

“Be food safe, food wise all, for a restful good night!


Brenda Langerud

NDSU Extension Service/Ramsey County

524 4th Ave NE Box 5

Devils Lake, ND  58301

Tel: (701) 662-7027

Fax: (701) 662-7049




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