January 27, 2023

Thanksgiving Leftovers Must Be Discarded or Frozen Today

It's now four days after Thanksgiving, and that means that all leftovers from that holiday dinner must be discarded or frozen today, according to the USDA. Of course, this is assuming that you refrigerated that food promptly - within two hours of it coming out of the fridge or oven. Between the temperature range of 40°F to 140°F, bacteria numbers can double in foods every 20 minutes. And those pathogens can make toxins that aren't destroyed by heat. So even if you thoroughly reheat leftovers to 165°F, as you should every time, you may still get sick. That's why we stress prompt refrigeration of perishable foods, including meats, egg dishes, seafood, poultry, casseroles, and cooked vegetables. To freeze foods, store them in freezer bags or other containers in relatively small … [Read more...]

Unsafe Ways to Prepare Your Thanksgiving Turkey

Did you know that there are unsafe ways to prepare your Thanksgiving turkey? While we have covered prepping and cooking the turkey safely, including proper thawing and roasting to the correct temperature, there are other physical parts to the preparation to think about. First of all, the method you use for cooking your turkey is important. You can roast the turkey, grill it, or deep fry it. Roasting is the most common method, and it is the safest, both in terms of food safety and physical safety. Grilling is the next safest, as long as you keep an eye on the bird, understand the risks of grilling such as fire and burns, and use a food thermometer. Just never use a grill in a covered area, not even a breezeway or the garbage because you risk carbon monoxide poisoning. But deep … [Read more...]

Learn How to Safely Prepare a Turkey For Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is Thursday! Most people will be having turkey and stuffing. Read on to learn how to safely prepare a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. While this task isn't difficult, there are some rules you should follow to avoid food poisoning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has tips. First, plan ahead. If you buy a frozen turkey it needs time to thaw - in the refrigerator. Never thaw a turkey on the counter or you are inviting trouble. Allow 24 hours of thawing for every four to five pounds of bird. If you have a big turkey, it may be too late at this point. In that case, you still have options. You  can thaw the turkey in cold water, but you have to keep an eye on it. Make sure the turkey is in a leakproof bag before you  put it in the sink. Add cold water … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving Food Safety Tips From the USDA

Thanksgiving food safety tips from the USDA will help you keep your family and friends safe as you celebrate the holiday this year. Follow the basic four steps to food safety - clean, separate, cook, and chill. But there are other tips you need to keep in mind. Handwashing is the first step to avoiding any foodborne illness. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before you start preparing food, after using the bathroom, and before serving food and eating. Also wash your hands after you handle raw meat, poultry, fish, seafood, and eggs. Avoid cross-contamination by cleaning and sanitizing any surfaces that have touched raw turkey and its juices. That includes counters, sinks, stoves, tabletops, utensils, and plates. Also use separate cutting boards for meat … [Read more...]

CDC Study Reveals Salmonella Serotypes Linked to Thanksgiving Foods

A  new CDC study has revealed the Salmonella serotypes most commonly linked to Thanksgiving foods such as turkey. The study used routine surveillance for the years 1998 to 2018, and a case-crossover design. In 2017, there were about 45,000,000 turkeys produced for Thanksgiving. About 88% of consumers in the United States report that they eat turkey during the Thanksgiving meal. There are about 1 million cases of Salmonella reported in the United States every year. These illnesses cause 20,000 hospitalizations and 400 deaths annually. Since a small percentage of people infected with this pathogen actually seek medical help every year, the number is likely much higher. Salmonella Hadar and Saint Paul are the serotypes that are most commonly associated with turkey. The serotypes … [Read more...]

Keep Thanksgiving Leftovers Safe With Tips From the USDA

It's Thanksgiving. One of the best parts of this holiday is leftovers. So you should know how to keep Thanksgiving leftovers safe with these tips from the USDA. When you take foods out of the oven or refrigerator, set a timer and follow the two hour rule. That means that all perishable items such as the turkey, stuffing, side dishes, and desserts should be refrigerated within two hours after coming out of those appliances. After two hours, these foods enter the "danger zone" between 40°F and 140°F, where bacteria can double every 20 minutes. Then, even if you thoroughly reheat those foods, the bacteria could have produced toxins that are not destroyed by heat and can still make you sick. When you break down the foods from the meal, put them into shallow containers so they cool … [Read more...]

Prepare Your Holiday Turkey Safely with Tips From the CDC

It's almost Thanksgiving! Prepare your holiday turkey safely with tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Since turkey can be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria, it must be handled carefully. First of all, store the turkey properly. It should be stored in the freezer until you are ready to thaw it. Do not store a turkey in a car trunk, in snow, or on the back porch. At this point it's too late to properly thaw a large frozen turkey in the fridge, but you can cook it from the frozen state. It takes 24 hours of thawing in the refrigerator for each four to five pounds of turkey. Never ever thaw a turkey or any meat on the counter. The meat will remain in the danger zone of 40°F to 140°F too long, and bacteria will multiply. At room temperature, bacterial … [Read more...]

Keep Thanksgiving Leftovers Safe With Tips From the USDA

Happy Thanksgiving! Keep Thanksgiving leftovers safe with tips from the USDA. Since the meal for this holiday is usually quite large, you will most likely have lots of leftovers, which must be stored properly to prevent food poisoning. The temperature danger zone for perishable foods is 40°F to 140°F. In that range, bacteria in foods can double every 20 minutes. First, remember the two hour rule. All perishable foods must be refrigerated within two hours of coming out of the oven or out of the fridge for serving. This time decreases to one hour if the ambient air temperature is above 90°F. To make sure that food cools down quickly and gets through the danger zone fast, divide food into smaller amounts and package in shallow containers. When you have stored the food in the … [Read more...]

Follow Thanksgiving Food Safety Steps from the CDC For a Safe Holiday

The CDC is offering Thanksgiving food safety steps for you to follow as you prepare this holiday dinner to stay safe. This Thanksgiving will be different, with fewer large gatherings and more people staying home to protect themselves against Covid-19. So avoid food poisoning, which is a major risk during the pandemic, with these tips. First, keep it clean. Always wash your hands with soap and water before you start to cook and eat. Make sure that food preparing surfaces and utensils are clean and sanitized before you start to cook. Think about sanitizing the sink and countertops before you bring out the food. You can use a commercial product or make your own by mixing 1 tablespoon liquid chlorine bleach with one gallon of warm water. For meal prep, make sure that you keep raw … [Read more...]

Keep Your Thanksgiving Turkey Safe With Tips From CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is offering tips to keep your Thanksgiving meal safe, concentrating on the turkey. Turkey and other poultry are often contaminated with bacteria and require special handling. Keep your Thanksgiving turkey safe with these tips. In fact, a report in the Center for Disease Control  and Prevention's (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report for the week of November 22, 2019 states that during a huge Salmonella Reading outbreak last year, "“Evidence demonstrated that the outbreak strain was present throughout the turkey industry in live turkeys and in raw turkey products meant for human and animal consumption." When you buy your turkey, put it into the grocery cart last, go right home, and put it in the refrigerator promptly. If you are … [Read more...]

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