Avoid food poisoning this Thanksgiving

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Turkey with thermometer
USDA photo, Creative Commons.

It can be very stressful cooking for a large group. What if there is not enough oven space? Or what if something is undercooked and people get sick?

If you are hosting Thanksgiving this year, these tips can help make sure your meal doesn’t leave your guests with food poisoning:

  • Wash your hands before and after touching food.
  • Wash dishes, knives, cutting boards and other kitchen items before and after handling raw food.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly.
  • Keep raw meat separate from other food.
  • Cook your food thoroughly. You can’t tell if a turkey is done by just looking at it. Use a food thermometer.  You should cook your turkey, stuffing (cooked alone or in the bird) and casseroles to at least 165 degrees. Need to know what temperature other dishes should be cooked to? See our Safe Cooking Temperature Table (PDF).
  • Put your leftovers in the refrigerator within two hours. Remove all the stuffing from the turkey before you refrigerate the leftover meat. Keep stuffing, gravy or broth in separate containers.

Food poisoning can take anywhere from two hours to several days to make you sick. It can last up to 10 days. You may:

  • Feel sick to your stomach
  • Have stomach cramps
  • Throw up
  • Have diarrhea
  • Have a fever

For questions about food poisoning, call us at 1-800-222-1222 or chat now. We are open on Thanksgiving and every other day of the year, 24 hours a day.

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