BISMARCK, ND (KXNET) Before you sit down to celebrate Thanksgiving, you want to make sure that the food is prepared properly. That preparation also includes thawing your turkey properly as well.
“There’s some general rules. First, you want to keep everything clean, you want to keep your hands clean, you want to keep your utensils clean, your cutting boards clean,” said Michelle Dethloff, Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Unit Director for the ND Department of Health and Human Services. “You also want to make sure you’re separating your food. So, if you have raw meat and you have some other food that’s ready to eat, you want to make sure you’re keeping those separate and not having cross-contamination.”
Dethloff added that you want to ensure you cook and prepare your food properly by adhering to the correct internal temperatures. For a turkey, that temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
When you are done eating, it is very important to pack up and refrigerate your leftovers within two hours. Typically, leftover turkey is safe to eat within three to four days when refrigerated and up to six months when frozen.
Get more information on avoiding foodborne illness this Thanksgiving from the North Dakota Department of Health and Human Services here.