Thanksgiving Day...for many it’s a time for lazin’ and grazin’. That includes Joanne Burns and her big family.
“We do a lot of cooking the day before and of course while we’re cooking we are snacking at the same time. So it is just eating all weekend,” says Burns.
While we’re serving food by the pound, few of us are weighing the risks. According to the CDC- 1 in 6 or 48 million Americans each year will develop food borne illness. You can greatly reduce your odds by taking a few precautions.
“To a great degree by following the basic premises of making sure that you inspect, you refrigerate, you wash and you cook to proper temperature,” says Larry Altier, director of food and nutrition with Lee Memorial Health System.
For Burns, keeping guests healthy is a priority. That means monitoring the buffet for spoilage.
“We usually have fresh vegetables out, we have carrots and celery, and we’ll start off light. The dips; we’ll put the dips away pretty quickly afterwards. We’re concerned that stays fresh,” says Burns.
And when it comes to talkin turkey, there’s a lot that can go wrong. First never defrost your bird on the counter, instead thaw it slowly thaw in the fridge. One of the top reasons people get food poisoning is because their meat is undercooked.
“It is very difficult to just look at a product and presume that it is cooked to the right temperature. We really recommend that folks use a meat thermometer or an indicator,” says Altier.
The Butterball Turkey Hotline says your meat thermometer should read 180 degrees deep in the thigh, 165 in the middle of the stuffing. It’s all about making sure your holiday meal is a wholesome feast.
“It’s constant eating, when you’re finished with one dish something else comes out. So you have the appetizers, you have your meal, you have deserts,” says Burns.By following good safety precautions you can avoid having food borne pathogens crash your holiday party.