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This Thanksgiving, Americans will consume more than 46 million turkeys. With so many people preparing a meal they don’t cook very often, hosts must be especially careful not to serve up food poisoning.

The USDA has recommended four steps that can help people protect themselves called clean, separate, cook and chill said USDA's, Nirav Shah. First is clean...

Proper hand washing after handling raw meat, poultry and eggs can significantly reduce the risk of bacterial cross-contamination. The most common mistake was not scrubbing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Second is separate...

Using those separate cutting boards or utensils will help avoid cross-contamination between raw meat or poultry and other foods.

The third is cooking...

Confirm foods are cooked to a safe internal temperature by using a food thermometer. Your turkey should be cooked to 165 degrees checking with a thermometer, and only 12 percent of participants prepare that way.

Last is chill...

Chill foods promptly if not consuming immediately after cooking. USDA research found that only half of its patrons reported that they refrigerate large amounts of leftovers in multiple small containers.

For more information and tips on preparing the Thanksgiving meal safely, people can visit FoodSafety.gov or call the Meat and Poultry Hotline toll-free at 1-888-MPHotline.

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