Health Watch -- Thanksgiving: Food on the Table

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.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about Thanksgiving. When you set your Thanksgiving table, you need to keep the clock in mind. Lona Sandon, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says to remember the two-hour rule. Food shouldn’t be left sitting out for more than two hours, whether it’s on a buffet or you’re lingering over the dinner table after the feast.

After two hours, bacteria start to multiply rapidly, and food poisoning could be the result. Put leftovers in the refrigerator as soon as possible after dinner. If you’re serving buffet style, with guests coming and going throughout the day, put out food in smaller amounts and replace regularly with fresh food. You could also use ice or heating elements to keep cold food cold and hot foot hot.

Next: How to safely serve leftovers.


November 2006

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