With Thanksgiving less than a week away, the Branch-Hillsdale-Saint Joseph Community Health Agency is reminding listeners of the importance of food safety during Thanksgiving. 

The agency’s Public Information Officer, Kris Dewey, offers tips to ensure a safe and tasty meal.

Dewey says when thawing a turkey, it’s crucial to note that bacteria begin growing as soon as it starts to thaw. There are three recommended thawing methods: Using the refrigerator, using cold water or utilizing your microwave’s defrost function.

Cleanliness and separation are essential when handling the turkey. Bacteria cannot be washed off, so proper cooking is necessary. Use separate cutting boards, plates, and utensils, and wash thoroughly.

Cook the turkey to a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees, checking the breast, thigh, and wing. 

Allow the turkey to rest for 20 minutes before carving. 

Leftovers should be refrigerated within 2 hours and consumed within 3-4 days. 

Dewey said a good rule-of-thumb is that leftovers are safe in the fridge until the Monday after Thanksgiving. 

She recommends packing leftovers in a cooler when traveling and reheating to 165 degrees before eating. 

For more information, visit the Health Department’s website at bhsj.org

News, Public Service

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