(WECT) - As we make the last-minute grocery store runs and finalize the menu for Thursday’s big meal, there are some things to keep in mind when preparing the food for you and your family to prevent illnesses. Health officials have a few tips and tricks to keep everyone, and their stomachs, happy this Thanksgiving.
Keep everything clean.
- Make sure you wash your hands with warm soap and water before and after handling food.
- Wash any surfaces that come in contact with food with hot, soapy water.
- Rinse fruits and vegetables under cool running water before cutting and cooking.
- Do not rinse raw meat before cooking.
Don’t let bacteria spread from one food to another.
- Keep raw eggs, meat, seafood, and their juices away from foods that won’t be cooked.
- Use one cutting board for each type of food. Use one for meat and one for produce.
- Don’t put cooked meet or other food that is ready to eat on an unwashed plate that has held uncooked foods.
Make sure food is cooked completely.
- Use a food thermometer to make sure any and all meat is cooked to a safe internal temperature. For a turkey, insert the thermometer into the thigh, wing, and thickest part of the breast. Turkey is safe when it reaches 165 Fahrenheit.
- Bring sauces, soups, and gravies to a rolling boil when reheating.
- Cook eggs until the yolk and white are firm.
- Don’t eat uncooked cookie dough because it may contain raw eggs.
Make sure all leftovers are stored appropriately.
- Refrigerate leftovers within two hours.
- Your fridge should be set at 40 Fahrenheit and the freezer at 0.
- Never defrost food at room temperature. Food can defrost safely in the fridge, under cold, running water, or in the microwave.
- Don’t eat food that smells or looks questionable.
These simple tips will help ensure a safe and healthy Thanksgiving day.