Healthy food, healthy you: tips to remember when cooking for the Holidays

Home for the Holidays

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – With Thanksgiving just days away and the holiday season fully underway, it is important to remember food safety when cooking.

The Monongalia County Health Department’s Environmental Health program sent out simple tips that help assure a festive and healthy holiday atmosphere.

Wash hands properly — Hand washing is one of the most important control measures to protect both the preparer and the food. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water for 15-20 seconds.

Thaw your turkey properly — Do not thaw a turkey, or any food item, on the counter. Room temperature thawing provides the perfect environment for bacteria to multiply rapidly.

Prevent cross-contamination — Keep raw meat, poultry or seafood separate from each other and away from other foods. Store on the lowest shelf to keep juices from dripping onto other foods.

Cook foods thoroughly — Meat and poultry should be cooked all the way through until juices run clear. Cook thawed turkey at 325 degrees for 15 minutes per pound.

Store food properly — Refrigerate or freeze perishable foods right away after returning from the store.

For more information, click here to view all of the guidelines or go to and search “food safety” to bring up a variety of food safety articles.

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