FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM DECEMBER 26, 2019 • THE QUEENS COURIER 41
New Year's Dining
Safe food preparation strategies to save your holidays
Th ink of the holiday season and answer
this question: Th e holidays are the only
time of year I do ... what?
Maybe it’s the only time of year you set
up a Christmas tree, hang mistletoe, travel
to a certain destination or stay up all
night to go Black Friday shopping. For
many, the holidays are also the only time
of year that you prepare the traditional
And that can lead to trouble.
Each year in the U.S., one in six people
will experience food poisoning. Th ere
are 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations
and 3,000 patient deaths that
can be traced back to foodborne pathogens,
according to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention. Food poisoning
can aff ect everyone but it can cause especially
serious illness in young children, the
elderly, pregnant women and others with
weakened immune systems.
Improper food preparation is one of
the most common causes of food poisoning,
and the risk increases during the
holidays when people try to make lavish
meals they would otherwise not prepare.
To help keep you and your family
safe this season, Th e Partnership for
Food Safety Education - supported by
Cargill, Costco Wholesale and the Frozen
Food Foundation - is launching Th e Story
of Your Dinner campaign and sharing
safe preparation tips for a holiday staple:
the turkey dinner. Follow the guidelines
below and your holiday meal will be safe,
delicious and truly one-of-a-kind.
Preparing the perfect holiday
turkey this season
* Plan for one pound of meat per person.
If a frozen turkey works best for you,
allow the bird to thaw for several days in
the refrigerator. Generally, you will need
to plan one day for every four pounds
of turkey to ensure your bird completely
thaws. While your turkey is thawing, keep
it on the bottom shelf in a rimmed baking
pan to prevent unwanted juices from
• * Do not rinse your raw turkey. Rinsing
the turkey is not a safety step and can
increase the risk of spreading bacteria to
the sink and other surfaces.
• * For optimum safety, cook stuffi ng in
a casserole. Because stuffi ng is an excellent
medium for bacterial growth, it’s
important to handle it safely and cook it
to a safe minimum internal temperature
(at least 165 F) as measured with a food
• * For safety, cook your turkey to at
least 165 F and always use a food thermometer
to ensure your turkey reaches
this safe internal temperature. You can
fi nd a complete turkey roasting chart at
• * When checking to see if your turkey
is done, insert the food thermometer
into the innermost part of the thigh and
wing and the thickest part of the breast.
• * Put extra turkey, stuffi ng and other
left overs in the fridge within 2 hours.
Consume, freeze or discard left overs
within 3-4 days.
Th e annual turkey dinner is a seasonal
staple. A little extra preparation can make
the meal as satisfying and enjoyable as the
rest of the holidays. To learn more about
safe food preparation and how you can help
yourself and your loved ones avoid food
poisoning, visit StoryofYourDinner.org.