Food Safety Tips For Thanksgiving 

By Banner Health  

Keep your holidays healthy and happy with these expert recommendations 

We gather during the holidays to give thanks and spread good cheer – not to spread salmonella and by following some simple food-safety tips you can avoid any foodborne illnesses this holiday season, say Banner Health safety experts. 

“Leftovers is a big one (issue),’’ says Tracey Fejt, trauma prevention coordinator at Banner Children’s. “We do have food left out on the table and it’s important to get any of it back into the refrigerator within a two-hour period.’’ 

In addition to the “two-hour rule for leftovers’’, other food-safety tips include: 

  • Separate, please: Keep raw and cooked food separated; use different utensils and cutting surfaces for each of them. 
  • No double dipping while cooking: If you are tasting your food, make sure you wash off the spoon or a use another one before you go back for another sample. 
  • Be careful of bacteria: Fully cook meats and poultry, and thoroughly wash raw vegetables and fruits. 
  • Thaw thoughtfully: Always thaw meat in the refrigerator, never on the countertop. 
  • Hand hygiene: Wash your hands frequently and make sure your children do the same. 

Another important safety tip for cooks this holiday season: Remember to keep hot liquids, other hot containers and dishes and handles of pots and pans away from the edges of counters and tables. 

Banner Health emergency departments treat many burns during the holidays as people congregate in the kitchen and dining-room tables. With a lot of foot traffic around, it is easy for someone to pull a hot dish down and burn themselves. 

“Also, use the back burners when you are cooking as much as possible,’’ Fejt says. 

If you need more information from our food-safety expert, please contact: