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CDC Food Safety Twitter Chat

This Holiday, Don't Toss Your Cookies Be Food-Smart and Food-Safe

Santa holding cookies over his headChefs and home cooks bring their best goodies to the table during the holidays. But no one wants a bout of food poisoning to dampen their spirit. Join us for a lively Twitter chat with questions and answers about holiday food safety.


From finger foods to turkey and dressing, there is never a time of year when food is more of a focus. Join food safety experts (CDC, US Department of Agriculture, US Food and Drug Administration, International Food Information Council Foundation) and guest foodies for a Twitter chat with easy-to-remember tips for a safer and healthier holiday season.

Topics to expect:

Holiday Food Safety Twitter Chat

  • Food safety during the holidays: Holiday Entertaining: party giver or guest?  Stay clear of “Buffet Bandits”—food hazards that can rob your holiday enjoyment. Learn how to be the host of the season by practicing safe and healthy food preparation.
  • Foods and germs: fact and fiction: Raw cookie dough and some eggnog recipes are yummy holiday treats that may contain raw eggs [PDF - 1 page]. But, eating and drinking raw eggs can lead to food poisoning. Learn about this, other foods and germs, and what’s fact and fiction.
  • Who’s at risk? Pregnant women, children under five years old, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at-risk from germs that cause food poisoning.
  • Simple steps, big rewards. Don’t make your holiday party ground zero for an outbreak! Remember these simple steps [PDF - 1 page]: wash hands and surfaces often, avoid cross-contamination, cook foods to proper temperatures, and refrigerate promptly.
  • Holiday tips for safer eating. People in vulnerable stages and ages of life should not eat soft cheeses such as feta, brie, and queso fresco unless they have labels that say they are pasteurized. Unpasteurized products can contain harmful bacteria and can cause infections such as listeriosis. Check the facts [PDF - 1 page] and join the chat for more recommendations that everyone can use.

Santa sitting on bed with open bottle of pills in his hand

Wait—What’s a Twitter Chat?

Twitter chats are scheduled gatherings of people on Twitter to discuss anything that interests them, using a #hashtag to keep track of the conversation. There are chats for everything from blogging on art to agriculture to, yes, health!

Twitter chats offer participants a great way to network and share knowledge. It’s similar to a chat room in that it’s a topic-driven conversation happening in real time; it just happens to take place on Twitter.

Not using Twitter? No problem. Just visit and click “Sign Up” to get started.


How to Participate in the Twitter Chat

The chat will be held Wednesday, December 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM ET. Mark your calendar!

To join, follow @CDCgov on Twitter, and be sure to use the hashtag #CDCchat when you participate in the chat.

  • Sign in by 2:45 PM.
  • You may also use a third-party service such as Tweetchat. Be sure to use #CDCchat.
  • This chat is broken into topics, designated T1, T2, etc.: foods and germs; holiday food safety; healthy eating; simple steps, big rewards all year round; and more.
  • You can participate in the chat and help us to spread the word.


Before the Twitter Chat, Test Your Food Safety Knowledge

  1. Outbreaks caused by which pathogen typically peak following Thanksgiving?
  2. What safe minimum internal temperature is recommended for cooking turkey?
  3. No one wants to spend Christmas running to the bathroom because the ham was bad. Once cooked, what temperature should you keep hot food at or above (all temperatures in °F)?
  4. Mmmm… leftovers.  How long can you safely freeze turkey leftovers ? (Pieces, not whole turkey.)
  5. Which US president reportedly died from food poisoning? Bonus: What food reportedly was implicated?
  6. What online tool lets you search for outbreaks in each state?

We invite you to participate in the Twitter chat to get the answers to our food safety quiz and learn other food-safe and food-smart tips. But, if you can’t wait, the answers are shown below.


More Information


Food Safety Quiz Answers: 1. C. perfringens;  2. 165oF;   3. 140oF;  4. 4-6 months;   5. Zachary Taylor, cherries and  milk; 6. CDC's FOOD tool

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