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Nov 20
Thanksgiving Food Safety

As we gather with family and friends to celebrate the holidays, it’s important to follow good food safety practices. Did you know that 1 in 6 Americans get food poisoning every year? Food poisoning (known as foodborne illness) is caused by germs (bacteria or viruses) or toxins (harmful substance produced by germs) spread through food. People get sick when they eat contaminated foods such as meat, shellfish, fish, dairy products, produce or some liquids. Keep you and your family healthy this holiday season! Follow these 4 easy steps to keep germs out of your food.


  • Wash your hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds
    • before and after preparing food
    • after touching raw food
    • before eating
    • after using the restroom, and
    • after changing a diaper or cleaning up a child who has used the restroom
  • Rinse all fresh fruits and vegetables under running water before cooking, packing, or eating.
  • Wash all surfaces and utensils with warm, soapy water before and after use.


  • Keep juices from raw meat, poultry, or fish from coming in contact with other foods cooked or raw that are ready to eat. These juices contain germs!
  • Use separate plates for raw and cooked meat, fish, or poultry.
  • If possible, use one cutting board for meat or poultry and one for ready-to-eat food.


  • Raw meat, poultry, and eggs need to be cooked thoroughly.
  • Use a food thermometer to ensure foods have reached a high enough temperature to kill any harmful germs that might be present.


Safe Cooking Temperatures

​Internal Temperatures
Roast Beef, Steaks​​145° F w/ 3 minute rest*
​Ground Beef
​160° F
Ribs, chops, roast pork, sausage (fresh)​
​145° F w/ 3 minute rest*​
​Ground pork
​160° F
​Chicken, duck, turkey, ground poultry
​165° F
​Fried or poached eggs
until yolk is firm


  • Refrigerate leftover and unused portions promptly.
  • Food should not be out for more than 2 hours.

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Boston Public Health Commission
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