Add food safety to your to-do list on Thanksgiving

Keep food safety in mind while cooking this Thanksgiving. For a festively safe holiday, check out the Holiday Food Safety Success Kit for tips about preparing your meal. Photo by Mark Randall/Sun Sentinel/MCT

As you prep a checklist for your Thanksgiving meal, here’s something else to add: food safety.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 76 million Americans get sick from foodborne illnesses every year — more than 300,000 people are hospitalized, and 5,000 die. According to the CDC, raw foods of animal origin, including turkey, are the most likely foods to be contaminated.

Every year, Americans eat 736 million pounds of turkey on the holiday. What better time to get a refresher on food-safety basics? To ensure the food you’re serving is safe, browse the Partnership for Food Safety Education’s Holiday Food Safety Success Kit.

The kit includes information on buying, thawing and cooking a turkey, a holiday planner with menus, timelines and shopping lists, and dozens of recipes.

“Bacteria never take a holiday, so it’s important to be mindful this Thanksgiving of the four core messages of food safety in preparing your holiday meal — clean, separate, cook and chill” said Shelley Feist, Executive Director of the non-profit Partnership for Food Safety Education. “Holiday food safety is a valuable resource for all home chefs this Thanksgiving.”

To keep the kids busy while you’re elbow deep in mashed potatoes, the kit also has arts-and-crafts activities and downloads.

If you have any questions while shopping or cooking, here are some more resources.

For advice from the United States Department of Agriculture about meat and poultry, call 1-888-674-6854 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

Or send your questions to “Ask Karen,” the Food Safety and Inspection Service virtual representative, available 24 hours a day.


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Leigh Zaleski

I'm a health features reporter for the York Daily Record/Sunday News and healthy living blogger for No Sweat, York. Contact me with story ideas at lzaleski@ydr.com, 717-771-2101 or @leighzaleski on Twitter.

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1 Response

  1. November 19, 2012

    [...] Add food safety to your to-do list on Thanksgiving [...]

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