Each year in the United States, one in six people will experience food poisoning. There are 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 patient deaths that can be traced back to food-borne pathogens, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Improper food preparation is one of the most common causes of food poisoning. Follow the guidelines below and your holiday meal will be safe and delicious.
• Plan for one pound of meat per person. If a frozen turkey works best for you, allow the bird to thaw for several days in the refrigerator. Generally, you will need to plan one day for every four pounds of turkey to ensure that your bird completely thaws.
• Do not rinse your raw turkey. Rinsing the turkey is not a safety step and can increase the risk of spreading bacteria to the sink and other surfaces.
• For optimum safety, cook stuffing in a casserole. Since stuffing is an excellent medium for bacterial growth, it’s important to handle it safely and cook it to a safe minimum internal temperature (at least 165 F) as measured with a food thermometer.
• For safety, cook your turkey to at least 165 F and always use a food thermometer to ensure your turkey reaches this safe internal temperature.
• When checking to see if your turkey is done, insert the food thermometer into the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast.
• Put extra turkey, stuffing and other leftovers in the fridge within two hours. Consume, freeze or discard leftovers within three to four days.
Courtesy of Brandpoint.