Are you planning on cooking up a Thanksgiving feast tomorrow? Whether you are planning on making everything from the turkey to the pumpkin pies or just some side dishes, follow these tips to make sure the food you prepare is safe to serve:
- Purchase a thermometer and make sure the cooked turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. When taking the temperature, insert the thermometer in three places: the thickest part of the breast, the innermost part of the thigh, and the innermost part of the wing.
- Thaw your turkey using a microwave, cold water, or the refrigerator. The refrigerator method is USDA recommended.
- Wash your hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before touching any food.
- Do not wash your turkey, as this may spread bacteria onto kitchen surfaces.
- Keep your raw turkey separated from all other food products at all times.
- Use separate cutting boards, plates, and utensils when handling raw turkey to avoid cross-contamination. Make sure to wash anything that has touched the raw turkey with soap and warm water.
- Refrigerate your leftovers within two hours to prevent bacteria from growing in the food.
- Store leftovers in shallow pans or containers to decrease the time it takes to cool the food.
- Do not store stuffing inside a leftover turkey. Remove the stuffing and refrigerate separately.
- Avoid eating leftovers after 3-4 days. Use the freezer to store leftovers for longer periods of time.
- Do not prepare any food if you are experiencing any symptoms of gastrointestinal illness.
To learn more about Thanksgiving food safety, check out our ADHS infographic or visit Foodsafety.gov.
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