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thanksgiving dinner

Keep Food Safe This Thanksgiving

Posted by Whitney Ajie -


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and that means millions of Americans will be either be hosting or attending the big holiday dinner. Every person certainly has their turkey day favorites, whether it is the cranberry relish, the mashed potatoes and gravy or the famous pumpkin pie, but it's guaranteed that no one wants foodborne illness! Here are some tips to keep your holiday weekend a safe andhealthy one.

  • Keep cold foods cold: If traveling with cold foods tightly cover the already cold dish and pack in an insulated cooler filled with ice or frozen gel packs. Cold foods should be kept below 40°F. Foods served buffet style can be kept cold by placing food dishes under ice. For those party trays purchased at the supermarket, remove the lid, fill the lid with ice and put the tray on top.
  • Keep hot foods hot: If traveling with hot foods, tightly cover the hot dish and pack in an insulated container with towels wrapped around it. Hot foods should be kept above 140°F. If your travel distances are too far for foods to keep above 140°F, consider bringing a different dish. Foods served buffet style can be kept hot with chafing dishes, slow cookers, and warming trays.
  • Follow the 2 hour rule: Never allow hot and cold foods to sit out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours.This includes that pumpkin pie!Homemade pumpkin pie is a custard and must be kept in the refrigerator.
  • Eat leftovers within 3-4 days: Reheat all leftovers to 165°F as measured by a food thermometer.

For more information on food safety and fixing the star of the show, the turkey, visit University of Illinois Extension's website: Turkey for the Holidays. Have a happy and safe holiday weekend!!

Originally written by: Jenna Smith, University of Illinois Extension Educator - Unit 12, Nutrition and Wellness


For a delicious, affordable, and healthy recipe to add to your Thanksgiving tradition, try this University of Illinois Extension recipe for Green Bean Casserole.

Green Bean Casserole

Servings: 5

  • 1 can (16oz.) green beans, drained
  • 1 can condensed cream of mushroom, fat-free
  • 1/2 cup crushed cereal flakes or French-fried onions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease baking dish.
  2. Combine beans and soup in a bowl.
  3. Pour mixture into baking dish. Top with cereal or onion rings.
  4. Bake, uncovered, until hot and bubbly, about 20-30 minutes.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): Calories 70; Fat 1.5g; Calories from fat 15; Sodium 730mg; Total carbohydrate 10g; Fiber 2g



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