November 21, 2017
More than 45 million turkeys are eaten on Thanksgiving Day with endless sides and desserts. If you are among the thousands of Floridians preparing a Thanksgiving meal this year, remember the food safety basics: clean, separate, cook and chill.
Clean: Washing hands with soapy, warm water while you cook is the most effective way to prevent the spreading of bacteria. Be sure to wash cutting boards, utensils and countertops before you prepare the next item.
Separate: Always separate raw turkey from ready-to-eat foods to avoid cross-contamination.
Cook: Be sure to cook food at high enough temperatures to kill harmful bacteria. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 165 degrees F.
Chill: Refrigerate any leftovers within two hours to slow bacteria growth. Leftovers are safe to eat for three to four days and can be frozen for longer storage.
If you have other Thanksgiving food safety questions, can call USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET on weekdays and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET on Thanksgiving Day.