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Keep food poisoning off of holiday menus – Food Safety News

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Multiple cooks, meals, desserts and people running in and out of the kitchen can make the holidays chaotic. But nothing can add to all that chaos, like food poisoning. Luckily, there are a few rules to help avoid a food poisoning nightmare before Christmas.
Here are four simple rules to keep your family safe this holiday season — clean, separate, cook and chill.
“Clean” reminds consumers to wash their hands and kitchen surfaces often during cooking. “Separate” prevents cross-contamination by encouraging consumers to keep their raw meats away from other foods. “Cook” informs consumers of the necessity of cooking their meat, poultry, fish and egg products to the right internal temperature. “Chill” highlights the importance of prompt refrigeration of food. Focusing on those behaviors provides consumers with clear steps they can take to protect themselves and their families from food poisoning. 
Are you a Christmas ham or turkey family?
Ham cooking safety tips from the USDA:
Turkey cooking safety tips from the USDA:
Thaw the turkey safely
Perishable foods should never be thawed on the counter, at room temperature or in hot water. They must not be left at room temperature for more than two hours. There are safe ways to thaw a turkey and other food, including in the refrigerator, in cold water and in the microwave.
Even though the center of the food may still be frozen as it thaws on the counter, the outer layer of the food can easily be in the “Danger Zone,” between 40 degrees F and 140 degrees F. The danger zone allows potentially deadly bacteria to multiply rapidly.
Remove the giblets from the turkey cavities after thawing and cook them separately.
Thoroughly cook your turkey
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