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Thanksgiving Leftovers: Food safety tips so you don't get sick

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Food safety tips so you don't get sick (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A recent report found said more people have reported getting sick after eating holiday meals.

So food safety experts at the Midwest Culinary Institute remind everyone one way to avoid the risk for some potentially deadly consequences to the meal just finished, is to make sure you properly take care of the leftovers.

The first thing people need to know about what's left over from all the good stuff mixed up in the kitchen starts with the turkey.

Laurie Schrand of the Midwest Culinary Institute said, “If you have leftover stuffing in the turkey, you never want to leave that in there. You want to take it all out of the cavity of turkey and you put that in a separate container.”

As for all the other side dishes, “I recommend you refrigerate that within two hours.”

As the culinary students have learned from nutrition instructors such as Schrand, people think they can taste if food has gone bad but that’s not always true.

“No, that's not true. You can eat food that tastes wonderful that is very bad and can make you very sick,” said Schrand.

She pointed out it was not just how long the food sits out that can be a problem but there's also a rule with seven days. Seven days is how long people can keep a food that's been prepared. So when people put away food they should label it for the day they need to throw it out.

Chef Meg Galvin said, “We do talk about food safety from day one to graduation, and we hope that they continue this through all their careers and even at home, because some of the worst mistakes happen at home where people are off their guard.”

Chef Galvin said probably the one mistake people make most in their own kitchen is they don’t wash their hands after touching any meat.

“Wash hands when you start, wash hands when you touch your face, wash hands when you touch garbage.”

The general rule is that bacteria starts to grow between 40 and 140 degrees according to the USDA, which means hot foods need to stay hot, and cold foods need to stay cold.

They suggest if you can't recall how long something has been sitting out, when in doubt throw it out.

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