Holiday Meal Food Safety

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Holiday meals have been linked to outbreaks of many pathogens including Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridium perfringens and Staphylococcus aureus. Cooking for a crowd larger than normal, whether in the home or in a community kitchen, can lead to mistakes at the expense of food safety. This Food Safety Infosheet offers tips to avoid foodborne illnesses cooking for large holiday gatherings.


  • A recent foodborne illness outbreak in Kansas affecting 159 people has been linked to a turkey dinner served at a church function.
  • Recent research has shown that when washing poultry, the pathogens can be spread within 3 feet of the sink, which might include already prepared fixins.
  • The only way to know whether the turkey is done is with a tip-sensitive digital thermometer reading at least 165°F.

Download this infosheet in Spanish.

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