Tips: Thanksgiving Day food safety issues, there’s plenty to consider

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MILWAUKEE -- Between making the stuff and setting the table, Thanksgiving hosts have a lot to think about. But they should also be thinking about food safety. Kelsey Rice with Children's Hospital of Wisconsin joined the Studio A team with some helpful tips.


  1. Keep it cool. Properly defrost the holiday turkey by allocating 24 hours of defrosting time per 5 pounds of turkey. Defrost the turkey in the refrigerator - not the kitchen counter.
  2. Keep it clean. Thoroughly wash cutting boards, utensils, and countertops in warm, soapy water before and after preparing food. Also, clean hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after food handling.
  3. Keep it separate. Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood separate from ready-to-eat foods. Designate separate cutting boards for meats and for fruits and vegetables to avoid cross contamination.
  4. Keep track of temp. Use a food thermometer to ensure that foods are cooked to a safe internal temperature: 145°F for roasts (allowing the meat to rest for 3 minutes before carving or consuming), 160°F for ground meats, and 165°F for all poultry.
  5. Keep it fresh. Store leftovers in shallow containers so they cool faster in the refrigerator. Eat leftovers within 3-4 days.