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Healthline Connects
Healthline Connects

Avoid Food Poisoning on Turkey Day

Half the fun of cooking and getting together with friends and family is drinking a little wine while preparing the food. Don't let the alcohol and festivities go to your brain and make you forget safe food practices:
        • Wash your hands often with soap and water
        • Avoid cross-contamination of foods by keeping raw and cooked foods separated
        • Sanitize knives, cutting boards and food contact surfaces
        • Keep refrigerated foods below 40 degrees F and frozen foods below 0 degrees F.
        • Cook meats at the recommended temperatures, using a meat thermometer
        • Mayonnaise kept at room temperature is a common cause of food poisoning - bacteria collect in this rich food if left out of the cold too long.
Special precautions for turkey:
        • Do not thaw pre-stuffed turkey before cooking
        • Thaw turkey in the refrigerator: 24 hours for every 5 lbs. of turkey.
        • Never thaw a turkey at room temperature on the counter
        • If you choose to stuff your turkey, do so just before cooking and prepare the stuffing right before cooking.
        • Turkey is completely done when the internal temperature of the thigh and breast are 165 degrees F.
        • It takes about 4.5 hours to cook an unstuffed 20 lb. turkey and almost 5 hours for a stuffed 20 lb. turkey.
Signs of food poisoning?
        • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps
I always keep Pepto-Bismol tablets handy and take them with me when traveling. Take two at the first signs of nausea. Drink fresh water, ginger ale or other fluids if you feel a little under the weather. For serious illness - seek medical attention!

Happy Thanksgiving From Healthline!

Thank you The Eggplant for use of photo Turkey Stuffing.
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