Food poisoning is a holiday gift no one wants. Unfortunately, lots of people wind up visiting our doctors in Lancaster this time of year because of foodborne illnesses. How can you eat, drink, and be merry without getting sick? Palmetto Tri-County Primary Care has some tips to keep in mind.

  1. Thawing meat – First, you always need to be attentive when thawing meat. Whether it’s turkey, chicken, beef, pork, or ham, thawing is a crucial step in the cooking process. When you thaw meat, don’t put it on your kitchen counter. Instead, place the meat in a container or leak-proof bag and place it on the refrigerator shelf. Turkeys can also be thawed in a sink of cold water (changing the water every 30 minutes). Check the brand’s website or the labeling on the package for more instructions on your specific type of meat.
  2. Handling meat – Chicken and turkey, when raw, can easily contaminate everything that’s nearby. Make sure you’re cleaning, separating, and chilling these two foods properly and away from other ingredients.
  3. Stuffing preparation – Stuffing can be delicious, but it can also make you sick if it isn’t cooked properly. Always use a food thermometer to determine if the stuffing reaches recommended temperature of 165°F.
  4. Cooking – Finally, make sure to strictly follow all cooking instructions. Keep in mind that cooking times may vary depending on the weight, type, and shape of your food.

If you’re not feeling your best after your big holiday meal, it could be food poisoning. Don’t wait to see a primary care physician. Contact Palmetto Tri-County Primary Care right away so you can feel better faster.

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