The holidays are a time to enjoy food and people you love — but a nasty bout of food poisoning can ruin all of the cheer.
Fortunately, there are some simple rules you can follow to reduce the risk of food-borne illness and make sure your cooking doesn't make everyone else ill.
1. Do not cook if you're sick — or at least get some help and wear gloves.
2. Wash your hands properly before and during cooking.
3. Don't thaw a frozen turkey by leaving it on the counter — it's the perfect temperature for bacteria to grow.
4. Instead, thaw your frozen turkey safely using either the fridge, cold water, or the microwave method.
5. Buy your fresh turkey no more than 2 days before cooking and keep it safely wrapped in the fridge.
6. Do not buy a pre-stuffed raw turkey.
7. Don't wash or rinse the turkey with water before cooking.
8. Keep raw poultry, meat, seafood, and their juices completely separate from foods that won't get cooked.
9. Wash your cutting boards and utensils with hot soapy water immediately after using them for raw meat, poultry, and eggs.
10. If you aren't confident that you can safely cook your stuffing inside the turkey, just cook it in a casserole dish instead.
11. Use a thermometer to tell if your turkey is cooked, not your eyes.
12. And make sure you poke the thermometer into different parts of the turkey, not just one spot.
13. Bring your gravy to a rolling boil when reheating.
14. Don't eat cooked food that's been sitting out all day long.
15. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours or as soon as you can.
16. Portion up leftovers before putting them in fridge.
17. Eat or freeze your leftovers within four days of Thanksgiving.
Now go and enjoy your (hopefully germ-free) meal!
Caroline Kee is a health reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Caroline Kee at email@example.com.
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