Mary Alice Reporting –

Ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, the Tuscarawas County Health Department is asking those cooking to keep a few safety tips in mind.

One of the top things to do is to avoid food contamination by not handling raw meat and then other foods or products.

Health Director Caroline Terakedis went over a few recommendations during the preparation process.

“Wash your hand before you get started. You’re going to wash your hand when you’re changing tasks. You’re going to wash your hands if you clean something up. When you switch doing anything from a cooked product to a raw product, you’re going to want to wash your hands.”

She says it’s best to wash hands in warm water, with soap, for at least 30 seconds and then dry with a clean towel.

With turkeys, She notes that it’s best to have a food thermometer is in the kitchen and readily available to use for meats and for side dishes.

“You’re also going to want to know what temperature things should be cooked to and that’s information that’s widely available. We have that information on our website. When you invest in one of these, it’s not something that you can just use at the holidays. You can use it again and again. You’re just going to want to make sure you clean this between uses too.”

Terakedis adds that, if preparing stuffing, to be cautious when cooking it inside the turkey as it needs to reach an appropriate temperature of 165°F.

For any leftovers, the recommendation is to get those portions in the refrigerator within an hour.

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