Carolyn Bell, RDN – Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Thanksgiving food safety tips. Don’t forget to properly thaw turkey according to the package directions in order to avoid harmful foodborne illnesses. Call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline if you are unsure how to safely thaw – 1-888-MPHotline. Also, be sure to promptly refrigerate holiday leftovers. Foods left unrefrigerated longer than 2 hours may become harmful due to bacteria growth. Place foods in shallow containers for faster cooling and to avoid bacteria growth. Deep containers retain heat longer and may not cool quickly enough to prevent unwanted bacteria. Be sure to stack and store foods in the refrigerator. Use a method that allows cold air to circulate and cool foods to a proper temperature between 32˚F and 40˚F.
Most foods can be frozen after foods have been allowed to cool. Then place leftovers in a shallow container for freezing. Ideal freezer temperatures vary from 0˚F to -10˚F to prevent bacterial growth. Happy Thanksgiving!