How to Avoid Food Poisoning at Your Holiday Table
As the holiday season begins, many of us are turning our thoughts to family, friends, and food. As we prepare, it’s especially important to keep food poisoning prevention in mind too. Undercooked animal products (we’re looking at you, Tom Turkey), contaminated surfaces, and even vegetables can all cause Salmonella.
Salmonella symptoms usually begin hours to a few days after exposure to the bacteria, and they can be severe. They include abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea, as well as fever, headache, and bloody stools. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, these symptoms can last days to a week and may lead to dehydration and other complications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there are about a million cases of Salmonella poisoning each year in the United States.
To avoid food poisoning from Salmonella and other sources:
- Wash vegetables thoroughly
- Avoid cross-contamination of food surfaces and utensils
- Do not rinse your turkey – doing so may contaminate your kitchen
- Use a meat thermometer to make sure your turkey is cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit (tested in several areas, including the thickest part of the breast and the innermost part of the thigh)