Keep your holiday guests safe from food borne illness


Each year, 3,000 Americans die from food poisoning. This Thanksgiving, you certainly don’t want to be responsible for making anyone sick from the big meal.

The USDA has some refreshers to make sure everyone has a safe holiday.

"You’ll have many generations maybe at your meal. You might have young people, you might have older people, and you might have people that are under the weather that maybe have compromised immune systems. Those people are all at higher risk for food borne illness," Marianne Gravely, USDA Food and Safety Inspection Service said.

  • Make sure you safely thaw your turkey. Allow one day for every five pounds of weight and always thaw in the refrigerator.
  • Do not wash the turkey. If you do, you risk splashing bacteria around the kitchen. Remember, the only way to kill bacteria is by cooking it.
  • If you're brining the bird, also do that in the fridge, or find a way to keep the water cold.
  • Don't forget your meat thermometer. The turkey must reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the thickest part of the breast, the inner thigh and the wing.
  • Don't leave the turkey out for more than two hours, and leftovers should be eaten within four days.

Leftovers can also be frozen, but will taste the best if eaten up within four months.