Orlando, Florida – Millions of families will gather around the dinner table for Thanksgiving on Thursday.
Here are nine food safety tips for Thanksgiving, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
1. Keep foods separate
Keep meat, chicken, turkey, seafood, and eggs separate from all other foods in the grocery store and in the refrigerator.
2. Thaw turkey safely
Defrost the turkey in the refrigerator, in a tub of cold water (change the water every 30 minutes), or in the microwave. Avoid thawing foods on the counter. Turkey should be thawed at a safe temperature to prevent harmful germs from growing rapidly.
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3. Handle turkey properly to prevent the spread of germs
Raw turkey and its juice can contaminate anything it touches. Make sure you handle turkey properly to prevent the spread of harmful germs to your food, family, and friends.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after handling the turkey.
- Use a separate cutting board for raw turkey.
- Never place cooked food or fresh produce on a plate, cutting board, or other surface containing raw turkey.
- Wash cutting boards, utensils, dishes, and countertops in hot, soapy water after preparing raw turkey and before preparing the next item.
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4. Thoroughly cook food
Meat, chicken, turkey, seafood, and eggs can carry germs that cause food poisoning. Use a food thermometer to make sure these foods are cooked at a safe internal temperature.
5. Keeping food out of the “danger zone”
Bacteria can grow quickly in the danger zone between 40 degrees and 140 degrees. After preparing food, keep hot food hot and cold. Refrigerate or freeze any perishable food within 2 hours. The temperature in your refrigerator should be set at or below 40 degrees and the freezer at 0 degrees or below.
6. Wash your hands
Wash your hands with soap and water during these critical times when you’re likely to catch and spread germs:
- Before, during and after preparing food.
- before eating.
- After handling or touching pet food or pets.
- After using the toilet.
- After changing a diaper or cleaning a child who has used the toilet.
- After touching the trash.
- Before and after caring for a sick person.
- Before and after treating a wound or wound.
- After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
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7. Do not eat raw dough or dough
Dough and dough made with flour or eggs can contain harmful germs, such as Escherichia coli and salmonella. Do not taste or eat raw dough or dough that is meant to be baked or cooked. This includes dough or batter for cookies, cakes, pies, biscuits, pancakes, tortillas, pizza, or crafts.
8. Use pasteurized eggs for dishes containing raw eggs
Salmonella and other harmful germs can live both on the outside and inside of normal looking eggs. Many holiday favorites contain raw eggs, including eggnog, tiramisu, hollandaise sauce, and Caesar dressing. Always use pasteurized eggs when making these and other foods made with raw eggs.
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9. Take care of leftovers
Chill leftovers in the refrigerator at 40 degrees or more within two hours of cooking to prevent food poisoning. Chop or divide large cuts of meat, such as roasted turkey, into small amounts to refrigerate so that they cool quickly. Reheat all leftovers to at least 165°F before serving. Always refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours or 1 hour if exposed to temperatures above 90 degrees.
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