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Avoid food-borne illnesses this holiday season

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – ‘Tis the season to stuff your face; and while we’re all celebrating the bounty of Thanksgiving, there’s nothing fun about food poisoning. Even though the U.S. food supply is among the safest in the world, about 1 in 6 people will get sick from food borne illness this holiday.

Nathan Blair, a dietitian with Barnes Jewish Hospital, visits Fox 2 News in the Morning with simple precautions for food preparation and storage.

Four key steps for food safety:
1. Wash your hands often.

2. Separate ready-to-eat foods from raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs.

3. Cook to proper temperatures. See cooking temperatures for meats, seafood, leftovers, etc.

4. Refrigerate promptly at 40°F or below.

What about leftover safety?
• Bacteria can double as little as 20 minutes; store leftovers in shallow containers (two inches deep or less).
• Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within two hours of cooking the food. Don`t overfill the fridge.
• Use ham or roast within three to four days; use stuffing and gravy within one to two days.
• Reheat leftovers at minimum 165°F.
• Only keep leftover perishable food for three to four days, even if it looks or smells okay.