The two-hour rule on how to cook your Thanksgiving turkey

Home for the Holidays

How to make a Thanksgiving meal

HOUSTON (KIAH) —  Every year, Americans look forward to enjoying Thanksgiving with family and friends. While the COVID-19 pandemic is still top-of-mind, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds us all that it’s also important to keep family and friends safe from foodborne illness this Thanksgiving.

“Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times to remind people about food safety,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “I personally know how much effort it takes to prepare a full Thanksgiving meal, and I always ensure I’m following safe food practices like handwashing, using a food thermometer and avoiding cross-contamination.”

By following the tips below, you’ll lessen the chances of having a visit from foodborne illness — an unwelcome visitor — at your table this Thanksgiving.

How to clean and sanitize your Thanksgiving turkey

How to avoid cross-contamination when making your Thanksgiving meal

How to thaw the Thanksgiving turkey safely

How to cook a Thanksgiving turkey thoroughly

HOW TO: Safely stuffing your Turkey to avoid contamination

The two-hour rule on how to cook your Thanksgiving turkey

All perishable foods must be refrigerated within two hours of being cooked, or one hour if the temperature is 90 F or above. After two hours, perishable food will enter the “Danger Zone” (between 40 F and 140 F), which is where bacteria can multiply quickly and cause the food to become unsafe. Discard all foods that have been left out for more than two hours.

What to do with your leftovers

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