WASHINGTON, Nov. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, good food and good times. The nation's emergency physicians want to help you keep it that way and not have an unwanted memory that involves a medical emergency.
"Emergency physicians are ready to care for you any time you need it," said Rebecca Parker, MD, FACEP, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). "We are available 24/7, including holidays. But we hope that by following some common sense precautions, you will avoid preventable injuries and illnesses, so you can spend your holiday enjoying time with loved ones." Food Preparation Safety The risk of bacterial contamination is high with any raw meat. Wash your hands thoroughly when handling uncooked meat, keep it separate from other foods. Sanitize any surfaces that raw foods come in contact with. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that oven temperatures should be no lower than 325 degrees, and turkeys should be completely thawed before cooking. A food thermometer must register a safe minimum temperature of 165 degrees inside a turkey before it is served. It's best to cook stuffing in a casserole dish outside the turkey, but if you choose to stuff a turkey, make sure the stuffing reaches a temperature of 165 degrees (CDC) to ensure there is no bacterial contamination. Refrigerate all leftovers within 2 hours. People with food allergies who have not prepared their own meals at home should ask about the ingredients and how food was prepared to prevent exposure to allergens.