Tips to prevent food borne illnesses this Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - 4:46pm

Turkey, stuffing and pie; they're all staples of a traditional Thanksgiving Day meal but with all the homemade goodies comes the risk of food borne illnesses.

"People, they never think their food at home is going to cause them to be sick," said Don Plitt with the Brazos County Health Department. "They think it's gong to be a restaurant that hurts them and unfortunately we know this through statistics that a number of people are sickened at Thanksgiving and Christmas time too"

But preventing it can be easy.

Plitt says there are four main things you need to take into consideration Thursday while preparing your feast.

"We're basically looking at four words to kind of sum up maybe your food safety for the holidays and that is clean, separate, cook and chill."

Clean your utensils like cutting boards and knives, separate raw and cooked foods to prevent cross contamination, cook all meat thoroughly to at least 165 degrees and make sure you chill left overs immediately.

Plitt says anything left out for longer than two hours reaches the danger zone.

"As time goes one you end up playing a bit of jeopardy in terms of getting sick."

And one last piece of advice, "Too many cooks in the kitchen can spoil the meal and of course in restaurants we ask that unauthorized personnel not be behind the counter for that very same reason."

Plitt says if you follow all these precautions leftovers can be kept for up to six days safely.


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