How to avoid foodborne illnesses

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — As many Americans are staying home this Thanksgiving it’s providing the chance for people to prepare a turkey day meal for the first time.

Experts say every year roughly 48-million people get sick because of some form of foodborne illness.

Eric Marcol with the Springfield-Greene County Health Department says following good hygiene is key.

He says to make sure you wash your hands with soap and water before and after preparing, serving, and eating food.

Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

“We want to make sure that people are thinking about foods that they are preparing and keeping them separate,” Marcol said. “What foods are ready to eat we would like to set those things like salads or maybe desserts to prepare those in one area of the kitchen and the other area may be those raw foods like the turkey or any other uncooked meats that we have yet to prepare we want to keep those separate.”

Marcol says the safest way to thaw frozen meat is in the fridge.

It’s important to note a large turkey may take several days to completely thaw so it’s important to plan accordingly.

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