It’s Turkey Time! Must-have ingredients for a safe and healthy Thanksgiving

News Release
For Immediate Release: 11/21/2019

Leah Bucco-White, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-9356


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Lincoln – Thanksgiving is an opportunity to enjoy time with family and friends, to be grateful and reflect on what's important. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services provides these tips to support your efforts for a healthy and safe holiday season.

Bacteria and Burns
As you prepare holiday meals, prevent food-related illness and burns.

  • Wash hands often. Wash your cutting boards, dishes, utensils and counter tops with hot soapy water after preparing each food item.
  • Avoid cross-contamination by keeping raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs away from ready-to-eat foods and eating surfaces.
  • Do not leave perishable foods out for more than two hours. Refrigerate promptly.
  • Keep hot food away from little hands. Use the back burner of the stove and make sure pot handles, dishes and pans aren't close to the edge of the stove, counter or table. 

Let's Talk Turkey
No matter how you prepare your turkey, prevent your celebration from becoming a food poisoning disaster.

  • If you buy a fresh turkey, be sure you purchase it only 1-2 days before cooking. Do not buy a pre-stuffed fresh turkey.
  • Thaw turkey in the refrigerator or in a sink of cold water that is changed every 30 minutes, or in the microwave. Avoid thawing foods on the counter.
  • Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the turkey to ensure it's fully cooked. It should reach 165°F throughout the bird.

Know Before You Go
Make sure your travels are safe and sound.

  • Don't drink and drive—and don't let someone else drink and drive.
  • Shopping center parking lots are busier during the holidays. Keep an eye out for children, distracted pedestrians and drivers—especially when backing out of parking spaces.
  • Seat belts and car seats save lives. Buckle up every ride, every time, whether it's the long trip to visit family or a few blocks to the mall.
  • Keep hot foods, and anything that can become a projectile, in the trunk. You never know when you might have to stop abruptly.

Don't Let Flu Give You the Holiday Blues
Get your flu shot. Flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu.

  • Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every year.
  • If you are sick, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or other necessities.

Survive the Stress
The holidays don't need to take a toll on your health and pocketbook.

  • Keep your commitments and spending in check. Set a budget for holiday activities.
  • Eat and drink in moderation. Don't drink alcohol if you're feeling down.
  • Get support from family and friends.
  • Keep a relaxed and positive outlook.
  • Get exercise and enough sleep.


Like these tips? Be sure to follow DHHS on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


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