UACES Facebook Torrie’s Top Tips for a Safe and Healthy Thanksgiving
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Here are my 5 top tips for staying food-safe this holiday season!

Hey y’all! With Thanksgiving this week and Christmas 4 short weeks away, I’m sure you will be spending a lot of time with family and friends. If your family and/or friends are anything like mine, that means there is lots of food.

Fried chicken on platter
Food safety at Thanksgiving keeps everyone healthy.

Staying food-safe this holiday season is important for you, your family, and your guests. Here are 5 food safety tips to remember this holiday season.

  1. Do not wash the turkey. This only spreads pathogens onto kitchen surfaces.The only way to kill bacteria that causes foodborne illness is to fully cook the turkey.
  2. Wash your hands. Wash hands with soap and warm water for more than 20 seconds before touching any food or after touching raw poultry. This will prevent the spread of bacteria.
  3. Cook turkey completely. Check the turkey’s temperature by inserting the thermometer in three places: the thickest part of the breast, the innermost part of the thigh, and the innermost part of the wing. The turkey should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. DO NOT LEAVE LEFTOVERS OUT. I know my family is guilty of leaving leftovers out in between lunch and dinner but that is not food-safe. Leftovers should be refrigerated within two hours to prevent bacteria growth.
  5. Leftovers have an expiration date. Avoid consuming leftovers that have been left in the refrigerator for longer than 3 or 4 days (the next Tuesday to be exact). Use the freezer to store leftovers for longer periods of time. 

Follow these five food safety tips to have a safe and healthy Thanksgiving.

Happy Holidays from my family to yours. Best Wishes, y’all!

For more information go to or contact me at the Extension Office or email me!