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THANKSGIVING: Food Safety Tips

Thanksgiving Food Safety Tips
Make your Thanksgiving dinner a safe one. Photo courtesy ThanksgivingDay2015i.com.

 

Even if you’ve never had a problem before, check out these food safety tips prior to Turkey Day. They’re courtesy of The Learning Center at State Farm.

1. Keep everything clean.

  • Scrub your hands with soap under warm water for 20 seconds before touching food. Do the same after handling food, especially raw meat or poultry, to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Clean the counters, cutting boards, dishes and silverware with hot water and soap before and after preparing each food item.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables to remove the surface dirt, but do not rinse raw meat or poultry. Rinsing them enables bacteria to spread.
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    2. Heat foods to the proper temperature.

  • Color is never a reliable indicator of safely cooked food. Use a food thermometer to make sure meat, poultry, and fish are cooked to a safe internal temperature,typically 165°F.
  • Frying your turkey? Follow these turkey fryer safety tips.
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    3. Keep foods at appropriate temperatures.

  • Keep hot foods at 140°F or warmer with chafing dishes, slow cookers and warming trays.
  • Keep cold foods at 40°F or colder. Nest serving dishes in bowls of ice and store moist desserts, such as pumpkin pie and cakes with whipped frosting, in the refrigerator until serving.
  • Never let food sit out at room temperature for more than two hours.
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    4. Store leftovers safely.

  • Divide leftovers into shallow containers, which allow rapid cooling, before storing in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Never defrost food at room temperature. It enables bacteria to multiply.
  • Use a microwave or oven to reheat foods to an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Eat refrigerated leftover food within three to four days.
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