Are you preparing for a Thanksgiving group or cooking for a group this holiday season? Check out the food safety tips below from the Lake County General Health District.
Food safety tips for your thanksgiving feast
- Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before any food preparation and after handling raw meats
- Don’t rinse your raw turkey prior to preparation, as this may contaminate surfaces and utensils around the sink with bacteria
- Allow adequate time to thaw your frozen turkey inside the refrigerator. Do not thaw at room temperature, in the bathtub, or outside
- Use a food thermometer to ensure the thickest part of your turkey reaches 165° Fahrenheit. Do not rely of the pop-up thermometer already in your turkey.
- If stuffing your turkey, the middle of the stuffing must also reach 165° Fahrenheit.
- Don’t keep perishable foods that have been sitting at room temperature all day. When in doubt, throw it out.
- Foods held for leftovers should be refrigerated promptly. Break goods into smaller servings and leave uncovered inside the refrigerator to cool faster.
- Leftovers should be eaten within 3-4 days after preparation.
- Use utensils instead of bare hands when possible.
- Relax knowing you served your loved ones a safe and delicious meal!
COOKIng for groups – dos and don’ts
- Don’t leave perishable foods outside. Store them inside the refrigerator.
- Don’t make too many stops while grocery shopping. Go home and refrigerate perishable foods as soon as possible after purchase.
- Don’t keep perishable foods if they have been sitting out all day.
- Don’t double dip into foods other people may eat.
- Don’t reuse tasting spoons while cooking.
- Do use utensils instead of bare hands when possible.
- Do thaw frozen foods under refrigeration, and not at room temperature or outside.
- Do cool foods rapidly by creating smaller portions and placing under refrigeration.
- Do consult the “Cooking for Groups” booklet from USDA,
- Do cook raw meats to the proper cooking temperatures by consulting the following FDA chat