The countdown to Christmas dinner has begun! On Wednesday, I posted tips on safe holiday food handling (specifically, refrigerating and transporting your organic side dishes). Today, I have two additional bad-habit breakers from the American Dietetic Association.

Rocking the Gravy Boat

Old Habit: You probably know to bring gravy to a boil before serving it, but do you remember to boil gravy when reheating it, too? More than half of home cooks simply reheat leftover gravy in the microwave before serving it again.

New Tradition: To eliminate harmful bacteria, always bring leftover gravy to a boil on the stove before serving it.

Festive Floor-Grazing

Old Habit: Think there’s a 5-second rule that  determines whether food you’ve dropped on the floor is safe to eat?

New Tradition: Sorry, there’s no such rule. If a holiday treat topples to the floor, it’s never a good idea to eat it. In the spirit of  “out with the old, in with the new,” throw away any food that has touched the floor.

Have a happy, healthy and organic Christmas Eve!