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Simple steps to keep food safe on Thanksgiving

Published: Nov. 24, 2020 at 6:39 AM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Cases of foodborne illnesses tend to increase around the holidays, according to Toledo-Lucas County Health Commissioner Eric Zgodzinski, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has some tips for preventing food poisoning from wrecking your Thanksgiving.

According to the CDC, you need to disinfect any surfaces raw turkey touches and wash your hands thoroughly after handling it. But don’t wash that turkey -- the water can splash onto other parts of your kitchen, spreading germs.

Then make sure the turkey is cooked thoroughly.

“We want to make sure that the temperature of that bird is 165, I usually say 170, because it’s just easier. You should also have a probe thermometer to make sure that turkey is cooked thoroughly to kill the salmonella that could be in it,” says Zgodzinski.

But the potential for food poisoning doesn’t end at dinnertime. You can also get sick from leftovers if they’re not handled properly.

Hot food needs to be kept hot, and cold food needs to stay cold. So make sure to clear the food once you finish eating.

“As soon as you’re done, package that stuff up, get it into the refrigerator. Because the longer it sits out, the more likely it’s going to grow bacteria, and you’re going to have that turkey sandwich in a day or two, and you’re going to wish you didn’t have that turkey sandwich in a day or two,” says Zgodzinski.

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