Health Watch -- Thanksgiving: Leftovers

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’ve been talking about Thanksgiving. One of the best parts of Thanksgiving dinner is the leftovers. But nutrition experts at UT Southwestern Medical Center say you need to be sure to heat leftovers properly in order to avoid food poisoning.

You can’t just heat the leftovers until they feel warm to the touch. Lona Sandon, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says it’s important to heat leftovers to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit in order to kill potentially dangerous bacteria. Use a food thermometer to make sure. These thermometers are relatively inexpensive, and you can even get some that work inside the microwave.

Meanwhile, make sure you’re storing foods at the proper temperature. The refrigerator should stay between 32 and 40 degrees, and a thermometer can let you know if your refrigerator is working properly.


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November 2006

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