Vetzone vet zone dog cat veterinary medicine veterinarian technician tech health CE continuing education turkey food safety thanksgiving roast preparation storage cook safe bacteria spoil family

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Podcast: Thanksgiving Food Safety
Length: 2 min 14 seconds
Written and read by the author

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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:

Vetzone vet zone dog cat veterinary medicine veterinarian technician tech health CE continuing education turkey food safety thanksgiving roast preparation storage cook safe bacteria spoil family

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

Vetzone vet zone dog cat veterinary medicine veterinarian technician tech health CE continuing education turkey food safety thanksgiving roast preparation storage cook safe bacteria spoil family

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

Vetzone vet zone dog cat veterinary medicine veterinarian technician tech health CE continuing education turkey food safety thanksgiving roast preparation storage cook safe bacteria spoil family

After Dinner

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

Vetzone vet zone dog cat veterinary medicine veterinarian technician tech health CE continuing education turkey food safety thanksgiving roast preparation storage cook safe bacteria spoil family

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!

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