Newswise — At Thanksgiving, small mistakes in the kitchen can lead to food-borne illness. Dr. Ben Chapman, food-safety specialist and assistant professor of family and consumer sciences at North Carolina State University, can offer suggestions to ensure your Thanksgiving meal is a safe one.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in six Americans have food-borne illness annually, leading to approximately 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths each year. Chapman notes that holiday turkey meals have been linked to outbreaks of bacterial diseases caused by Salmonella and Campylobacter.
“The biggest risk comes from undercooking,” Chapman says. “Color is not an indicator of safety or doneness. We see suggestions in recipes about making sure ‘the juices run clear,’ but that’s a myth. You also have to worry about cross-contamination – which can happen when countertops, sinks or utensils aren’t being cleaned properly between use with raw meats and other foods.”