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Hometown News: Martin County - 11/25/2017

The Florida Department of Health in Martin County is encouraging everyone to practice food safety while preparing meals this Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season.

There are four simple steps to food safety: Clean, Cook to Temperature, Chill and Separate. Keep your holidays happy with these tips:

? Clean. Wash hands, utensils and surfaces before and after food preparation, especially after preparing meat, poultry, eggs or seafood. Be sure to keep all countertops and work areas clean with hot, soapy water.

? Cook to Proper Temperature. Read the cooking directions on packaging before preparing. The safest thawing method is in the refrigerator at 40 degrees. Make sure the food is cooked at the proper internal temperature and check for doneness with a food thermometer.

? Chill ? Refrigerate Properly. Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared food and leftovers within two hours. Make sure the refrigerator is set at no higher than 40 degrees and the freezer is set at 0 degrees.

? Separate ? Don't cross contaminate. Keep raw meats, poultry, eggs and seafood and their juices away from ready to eat food. It is recommended that leftovers be heated to 165 degrees.

For more information on how to keep your family safe from foodborne-illness this holiday

season, visit www.foodsafety.gov

Christmas tree angels give holiday joy to home-bound seniors

The Council on Aging of Martin County's third annual Christmas Tree Angels project is underway at the Kane Center on Salerno Road in Stuart. Ornaments on the Christmas tree in the Kane's Town Center have cards attached with this year's request: gift cards to grocery or drug stores to help frail, low-income seniors pay for food and medicine.

The gift cards will be distributed to clients of the Council on Aging. For these clients, the holidays can be a lonely time.

The goal of the Christmas Tree Angels project is to spread the joy of the season to individuals who may otherwise feel forgotten. The generosity of their community will not only help them purchase vital groceries and medicines they might otherwise have to forgo, it also reminds them that they are valued and not alone.

To participate, visit the Kane Center at 900 S.E. Salerno Road, Stuart, and take an ornament or two off the tree. Return wrapped gifts to the Kane Center by Thursday, Dec. 14.

For more information, call (772) 223-7815.

This year the Chabad Jewish Center of Martin & St. Lucie will be celebrating the 20th year of organizing the Community Chanukah Celebration and Public Menorah Lighting Ceremony on behalf of the Martin and St. Lucie Jewish community. It is also the 10th year of having two celebrations, one in Stuart and one in Port St. Lucie.

The 20th Community Chanukah Celebration in Stuart will take place at Memorial Park, 300 S.E. Ocean Blvd., Stuart (adjacent to the court house), Sunday, Dec. 17, from 3-5:15 p.m. The celebration will feature a motorcycle high wire trapeze show. It will also have the Dreidel mascot, pony rides, face painting, bounce house, and make your own Dreidel fidget spinner, activities and games. Enjoy Kosher Israeli falafel hot dogs, latkes, doughnuts. Bring items for those hit by the hurricane in Puerto Rico and the islands, or Chanukah gifts for seniors and children.

The public Menorah lighting ceremony will be at 4:15 p.m., joined by Martin County commission Vice Chair Ed Ciampi and other elected officials. The community wide celebration is open to the public and everyone is invited to join the festivities. Admission is free, suggested donation $5 food extra. Sponsors and donations welcome.

The tenth Community Chanukah Celebration at Tradition Square in Port St. Lucie will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 12 from 4:30-6 p.m. The celebration will feature for the first time a "Drone Chanukah Gelt Drop" and a chance to make your own Dreidel fidget spinner, plus a Dreidel mascot. It will also feature a bounce house, face painting, activities and games. Enjoy latkes, doughnuts, Kosher Israeli Falafel, hot dogs, raffle. Bring items for those hit by the hurricane in Puerto Rico and the islands, or Chanukah gifts for seniors and children.

The public Menorah lighting ceremony will be at 5:30 p.m. joined by the Mayor of Port S. Lucie Greg Oravec and other elected officials. The celebration is open to the public and everyone is invited to join the festivities. Admission is free. Sponsors and donations are welcome.

For more info on the celebrations, visit wwwChabadMSL.com or call the Chabad Jewish Community Center of Martin and St. Lucie at (772) 288-0606. For information about Chanukah, visit www.ChabadMSL.com/Chanukah

 
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