Experts urge cooks to remember food safety on Thanksgiving

Posted By: Channel 8 Eyewitness News

OMAHA, Neb. (AP)

Experts say it’s important to remember food safety on Thanksgiving.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that one in six Americans will become ill from a foodborne illness this year. Of those, 128,000 will be hospitalized and 3,000 will die.

The traditional main course at Thanksgiving, turkey, can contain salmonella and campylobacter bacteria that can cause illness if the bird isn’t cooked correctly.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the turkey must be cooked to 165 degrees (74 Celsius) to kill any bacteria.

Make sure to check the turkey with a meat thermometer when cooking, and use or freeze any leftovers within four days.

It’s better not to wash the turkey beforehand, because doing so can spray bacteria up to 3 feet (1 meter) away.