As Thanksgiving rapidly approaches and Americans sit down for a meal, the USDA says it’s important to take steps to keep family and friends safe from foodborne illness during the holiday. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says, “Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times to remind people about food safety. I personally know how much effort it takes to prepare a full Thanksgiving meal. It’s important to follow safe practices like handwashing, using a food thermometer, and avoiding cross-contamination.”
One of the best tips for food safety is making sure to wash your hands before preparing and handling food to help prevent the spread of germs. When thawing a turkey, don’t do it on a counter or in hot water; instead, do it in a refrigerator. Use a food thermometer when cooking to make sure the turkey gets to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. All perishable foods should be refrigerated within two hours of being cooked.