Health Watch -- Safe Feasting

 Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


When you serve Thanksgiving dinner, make it harder for unwanted guests to join the feast. Nutrition experts at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas say you can prevent food poisoning by keeping foods at proper temperatures. Foods shouldn't be kept out at room temperature for more than two hours, so don't leave leftovers on the table after the meal. Foods with cream, eggs or meat are especially vulnerable to bacteria growth, so they should be kept either hot or cold, and they shouldn't sit at room temperature for long or they will be unsafe to eat.

Make sure you cook the turkey to the proper internal temperature. Experts suggest cooking the stuffing in a separate pan instead of inside the turkey. If you must stuff your turkey, it's essential that the stuffing reach the right temperature to kill bacteria.

If you're serving buffet style, use warming dishes or ice to keep foods hot or cold.


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Nov. 2004

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