Thanksgiving Day Dinner: Tips for cooking a safe holiday meal

Local News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Cooking your Thanksgiving feast is a big chore. However, it’s also important to make sure you cook it safely so that no one gets sick from poor food preparation.

A report shows more than 22 percent of Americans say they got food poisoning from a holiday meal. That’s about 1 in 4 people.

And if you’re worried it can happen to you…you should be!

Experts say the biggest threat is linked to someone else’s poor kitchen hygiene where bacteria spreads from dirty hands to food or from contaminated food to kitchen surfaces or hands.

Rinsing raw turkey in the kitchen sink is another big no-no, according to officials.

Here are some things you can do to keep everybody safe and healthy:

Wash your hands before and while you’re preparing food to avoid cross contamination.

Clean as you go. While you’re cooking, use soap and water to sanitize kitchen surfaces, utensils, the cutting board or anything that comes into contact with raw turkey and its juices.

Make sure you’re cooking the turkey at the right temperature and time.

You also want to make sure you cook that turkey to a full 165 degrees throughout the bird, because it’s so large it can cook unevenly.

To see if its properly cooked, take its temperature in 3 places: the thickest part of the breast, the inner-most part of the thigh, and the innermost part of the wing.

After the meal, you might think it’s easier to put off the clean up until later…don’t!

Big health risks can come after the feast ends. Experts say unsafe bacteria starts growing on cooked turkey just two hours after it comes out of the oven.

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