To be fair, I’ve never, to my knowledge, gotten sick from Thanksgiving dinner. However, it is entirely possible to become literally ill from Thanksgiving dinner. People have even died. So if you’re looking for a cheery way to end Thanksgiving, here’s how:
- Wash your bird in the sink.*
- Use the same cutting boards for everything.**
- Bonus points for using wood cutting boards for raw meat.
- Don’t wash your hands after handling raw poultry
- Cook a half-thawed bird based on time alone w/out a food thermometer
- Thaw your bird on the kitchen counter
- Eat raw cookie dough
- bonus points if you leave it sitting out for multiple hours
- bonus, bonus points if you are over 65, under 6, pregnant, or immunocompromised
- Don’t use a meat thermometer to check your bird for doneness. Golden brown is good enough.***
- Leave the bird full of stuffing as it cools****
- Leave your leftovers out on the counter for >2 hours after cooking
- Bonus points for all day or overnight.
Ok, in all seriousness, please don’t do any of these things. Meat thermometers are under $10 at Walmart or most grocery stores. A new plastic breadboard for poultry is also pretty cheap and can be marked POULTRY ONLY using a permanent marker (glass is also fine). On this note, Happy Thanksgiving (if you’re in the US), and happy cooking!
*This is a great way to spread foodborne bacteria onto your salad greens as Salmonella and Campylobacter are happy inhabitants of poultry.
**Washing (and even bleaching) the cutting boards between poultry and veggies or bread isn’t very effective. Also, wood is considered non-sanitizable because it is so porous.
***Recommended safe temperatures vary, but the absolute minimum is >165F in the thickest part of the breast, the inner wing/thigh, and the center of stuffing.
****If you didn’t actually kill all the Salmonella this is the perfect growth environment for them…