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Podcast: Thanksgiving Food Safety
Length: 2 min 14 seconds
Written and read by the author
Staying Safe this Holiday Season – A brief guide to prevention of foodborne illness
It is that time of year again - a season for family get-togethers, turkey dinners and the contraction of foodborne disease! One in six people contract foodborne illness each year and the Thanksgiving season brings some additional risks. This means that pets can get sick too!
The symptoms of bacterial foodborne illness can range depending upon the type of bacteria as well as the person who is infected. Some consequences of foodborne illness include vomiting, diarrhea, hospitalization, miscarriages and even death.
Here are some easy rules to make sure that everyone stays safe this holiday season:
Rules specific to the turkey:
Thaw the turkey in the refrigerator. Open food should not be in direct contact with the sealed turkey package during this process
As with all meats, use separate meat-designated cutting boards, knives, etc
“A food thermometer should be used to ensure a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F” - USDA
For cooking recommendations for stuffed and unstuffed turkeys, please visit: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/poultry-preparation/turkey-basics-safe-cooking/CT_Index
Bringing and Serving food – Keep the hot, hot and the cold, cold
Hot food should be held at 140 °F or warmer. Cold food should be held at 40 °F or colder. For long transportation of “warm-food dishes,” consider transporting cold and with ice packs – then reheat later.
Perishable foods should not be left out for more than two hours.
For more information, please visit: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets
Leftovers should be refrigerated within 2 hours of preparation
It is recommended to eat all leftovers within 3-4 days from preparation or throw them away
For more Thanksgiving specific food safety information, please visit: https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/events/thanksgiving/index.html
Happy Thanksgiving Season from VetZone
Most bacteria can replicate every twenty minutes. Also, some bacteria, like Listeria, can grow inside your refrigerator. Keeping to the recommended timing for these rules is critical to your safety.
Following these simple rules can help keep everyone safe, happy and healthy. Have a wonderful, safe and delicious Thanksgiving this year!