Thanksgiving Food Safety Tips

Huron County Public Health (HCPH) wants to wish all of Huron County a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. Here are some tips to keep you and your family safe from food poisoning this holiday!

Cooking a turkey takes a lot of preparation! If the turkey is not stored or cooked correctly, people may unintentionally make their guests or family members sick.

  • Wash your hands and surfaces often.

  • Don’t cross-contaminate. Even after you’ve cleaned your hands and surfaces thoroughly, raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs can still spread germs to ready-to-eat foods—unless you keep them separate.

  • Safely thaw a frozen turkey in the refrigerator, in a sink of cold water that is changed every 30 minutes, or in the microwave.

  • A thawed turkey or a fresh turkey should spend no more than two days in the refrigerator before cooking.

  • Don’t rinse the turkey. Poultry can be contaminated with bacteria that causes food-borne illnesses and rinsing the turkey can spread bacteria. Cooking it thoroughly to 165°F is the only way to kill bacteria that may be present.

  • Do not stuff turkeys that are going to be grilled, smoked, or microwaved.

  • Prepare stuffing safely by cooking any raw meat, poultry or shellfish before stuffing the turkey. Do not cool stuffing before stuffing the turkey. Stuff the turkey loosely – about ¾ cup of stuffing per pound.

  • Use a food thermometer to ensure that foods are cooked to a safe internal temperature: 145°F for whole meats, 160°F for ground meats, and 165°F for all poultry (including turkey).

  • Keep your refrigerator below 40°F and refrigerate foods properly. Germs can grow in many foods within 2 hours unless you refrigerate them.

For more information and holiday safety tips visit


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