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Putting Food Safety First This Thanksgiving

By Kerry Longobucco.
Hosting a holiday event, like Thanksgiving dinner, can be chaotic -- especially in the kitchen. It's important not to sacrifice safety while whipping up your feast.

Fox 40 HD News collected some food safety tips from experts that could save your holiday.

"You want to make sure that you clean out the cavity of the bird with fresh cool water. You want to be sure that you are not cross contaminating," Keith Daviau, executive chef at Wegmans of Johnson City, said.

Finish handling raw foods, and clean all counters and utensils with hot soapy water before moving on to side dishes.

Stuffing is a staple of any Thanksgiving spread. Chefs say a simple step can help you enjoy in-the-bird stuffing safely.

"The critical piece of that is, even if you do stuff the cavity of the turkey, which a lot of people do, you want to make sure that that stuffing is 165 degrees," Daviau said.

That means the temperature of the turkey and the stuffing should be taken desperately. Both should be no less than 165 degrees before serving.

It's easy to get distracted while preparing several different dishes.
data shows there are more home cooking fires on thanksgiving than any other day.

"We've been to house fires I can remember a couple in the last two years, Thanksgiving day, oven fires, turkey's gone," Broome County Fire Investigator Jeff Winchell said. "And now the family's looking for a local restaurant to go out to have dinner at."

Deep frying your turkey is a popular choice -- but be sure not to use that fryer right near your home.

"Keep those out in the yard, get them away from structures," Winchell said. "So if you do have a problem that it doesn't burn your house down."

Officials advise you to plan ahead, prep early and don't be afraid to ask for a hand.