With the holidays fast approaching, it’s time to think about cooking and prepping for large meals again. To make sure that you and your family and friends enjoy the holidays and have a safe meal, please follow these and additional tips from Food Safety:

Steps to follow when cooking a turkey:

•Do not wash the turkey. This only spreads pathogens onto kitchen surfaces. The only way to kill bacteria that causes foodborne illness is to fully cook the turkey.

•Keep raw turkey separated from all other foods at all times.

•Use separate cutting boards, plates, and utensils when handling raw turkey to avoid cross-contamination. Wash items that have touched raw meat with warm soap and water, or place them in a dishwasher.

•Cook the turkey until it reaches 165 °F, as measured by a food thermometer. Check the turkey’s temperature by inserting the thermometer in three places: the thickest part of the breast, the innermost part of the thigh, and the innermost part of the wing.

Steps to follow when consuming leftover Thanksgiving food:

•Refrigerate leftovers within two hours to prevent bacteria from growing on the food.