No hands in the air for this question. Right? Who the heck would volunteer for such a stomach-churning, headache-inducing, porcelain-worshipping malady? No one, absolutely no one!

But believe it or not, every year 1 in 6 Americans, or, over 48 million will get some sort of food-borne illness. By some estimates, nearly a quarter of people who dined on turkey last Thanksgiving came down with this awful ailment.

In light of these cheery holiday statistics, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the FSIS/USDA (Food Safety and Inspection Service/United States Department of Agriculture) have some really good advice, and in the case of the FSIS/USDAa hotline you can call.

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Both agencies have very similar advice:

  • Thaw your turkey properly - Best practices are A) In a container in your fridge, or B) In a leak-proof plastic bag in a sink of cold water (change the water every 30 minutes)
  • Clean, clean, clean - Wash your hands, utensils, and cutting boards, before and after contact with any raw poultry, meat, or seafood product.
  • Do not rinse your turkey in the sink! In fact, don't rinse it at all! Whether you take it right out of the plastic or out of its brining liquid, just dry it with paper towels and proceed with your recipe. Rinsing turkey spreads tiny droplets of destruction all over the place!
  • Separate cutting boards for meats etc., and veggies, etc.
  • Cook using a thermometer (Don't rely on pop-up timers, because they can, not always, but can lie to your face! Turkeys and stuffing should both reach a temp of 165 degrees. (Check turkey in breast, thigh, and wing).
  • Chilling food properly is one of the best ways to avoid food poisoning. Your fridge should be set to 40 degrees or below. You should get leftovers of any kind into the fridge within 2 hours.

If you need that FSIS/USDA hotline, here it is - - 1-888-674-6854. You can reach them from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, and even on Thanksgiving Day from 7 AM to 1 PM.

Happy Feasting!

Sources: FSIS/USDA and the CDC

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