Thanksgiving Food Safety Tips

Make your holiday meal memorable – and tasty – by following CDC’s tips to safely prepare and cook your Thanksgiving turkey. The CDC feature (also in Spanish) guides you through the key steps of serving a safe feast for family and friends.

If you don’t have a food thermometer at home, pick one up before Turkey Day and use it to make sure foods have been cooked to a safe internal temperature.

Follow these tips to help you safely prepare your next holiday meal:

Display of turkey, green beans, stuffing, cranberries, and pumpkin pie

  • Thaw your turkey safely, which means never leave it out on the counter at room temperature. Place it in a container in the refrigerator.
  • Handle your turkey the right way — clean, separate, cook, and chill — to prevent the spread of bacteria.
  • Cook turkey and stuffing thoroughly, to 165°F.
  • If you plan to bake, do not eat raw dough or batter, and use pasteurized eggs in dishes that call for raw eggs.

CDC, FDA Investigate E. coli Outbreak

CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating a multistate outbreak of E. coli 0157:H7 infections. The source of the outbreak has not been determined. A total of 17 ill people have been reported from eight states. Seven ill people were hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported.

The Maryland Department of Healthexternal icon identified E. coli O157 in an unopened package of Ready Pac Bistro® Bowl Chicken Caesar Salad collected from a sick person’s home in Maryland. Laboratory testing is ongoing to determine if the E. coli found in the salad is genetically similar to the E. coli found in sick people in this outbreak.

Ill people in Maryland have reported eating Ready Pac Bistro® Bowl Chicken Caesar Salad. Do not eat or sell Ready Pac Bistro® Bowl Chicken Caesar Salads with a “Best By” date of October 31, 2019. If you have this salad at home, do not eat it and throw it away. Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of an E. coli infection.

Other salads have been recalled. Get the listpdf iconexternal icon.

A picture of the Ready Pac Bistro® Bowl Chicken Caesar Salad product

New Report Details Recent Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Raw Turkey

A final report on a 2017-2019 outbreak of Salmonella Reading infections linked to raw turkey products serves as a reminder to handle raw turkey safely and cook it thoroughly to prevent foodborne illness. The outbreak was widespread, sickening 356 people in 42 states and the District of Columbia.

Although a single source of turkey was not identified, investigators found the outbreak strain in several brands and types of raw turkey products for both people and pets, as well as in live turkeys. The initial investigation ended in April 2019, but new cases continue to be identified.

This outbreak underscores the need for the turkey industry to identify and prevent possible causes of contamination, as well as the importance of handling and cooking raw turkey safely.

The full report is published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

A small infographic with illustrated safety tips for handling raw turkey.