4 tips for a healthy Valentine’s Day dinner

Don’t ruin the mood with a bout of food poisoning. Here are four tips for preparing a safe and healthy Valentine’s Day dinner

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Valentine's dinner

A romantic meal at home

Nothing quite kills a romantic dinner at home quite like a bout of food poisoning. To make sure the warm feelings are in your heart, not your tummy, we asked Kirsten Mattison, senior advisor at Health Canada’s Bureau of Microbial Hazards, for reminders of safe food prep. She advises thoroughly washing foods with edible skins; using separate surfaces and utensils for prepping raw and cooked foods; fully cooking foods; and refrigerating leftovers. Here are some other food handling tips to keep you both healthy this February 14.

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Steak or lamb

It’s best to cook red meats until at least medium-rare, which is 63 degrees C. That will kill any salmonella, E. coli or listeria bacteria that may be lurking.


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Always keep fresh shellfish in the fridge until you’re ready to cook. Wash mussels thoroughly, then steam them until the shells open. Cook for another three to five minutes. If they don’t open, don’t eat them; they may contain trapped bacteria, parasites or viruses.

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chocolate chip cookie dough


Tempted to taste the batter? Don’t do it. You could get salmonella from eating raw eggs.

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chocolate fondue


Chocolate can be accidentally contaminated when it comes in contact with something else, says Mattison. So before you pop a chocolate into his mouth, or yours, be sure that you wash your hands. And since heat kills bacteria, why not try a chocolate fondue?


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