Have a healthy,safe Thanksgiving

November 20, 1991

DON'T LET FOOD-related illnesses spoil your holiday table. Follow these food tips for a safe and delicious Thanksgiving.

* Buy fresh turkey one or two days before you plan to cook it. Check the "sell by" date on the label of fresh turkey; this is the last day the turkey should be sold.

* Always wash and dry your turkey (or poultry of any kind) thoroughly before seasoning.

* When handling raw poultry, use a surface that is non-porous. Use your kitchen counter or a heavy plastic cutting surface instead of a wooden chopping board. The wooden surface will absorb any bacteria from the raw poultry. This bacteria may be transmitted to other food products when using your wooden cutting board for preparing vegetables and other foods.

* Never leave the raw turkey stuffed for any length of time before roasting to avoid possible salmonella contamination.

* Always wash hands and utensils thoroughly after handling raw poultry of any kind.

* Check doneness by inserting an oven-proof meat thermometer into center of thickest part of thigh, making sure it does not touch bone. An instant-read thermometer can also be used to check the internal temperature of the turkey.

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