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!