Thanksgiving food do’s and don’ts for you, your family and your pets

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and for a holiday centering around food, you want to make sure the food consumed is safe.

People will be celebrating Thanksgiving with their families over the next several days and experts are reminding people how to stay safe and healthy with the food you, your family and your pets are eating.

The amount of food that will be made for the holiday season will almost assuredly be very large, so eating safe food is important.

Cooking your food properly and fully is essential, especially when it comes to meats.

Experts also say you want to be sure to put away leftover after eating.

Food should only sit out for a maximum of two hours.

If you let food sit out longer, it will enter the danger zone, according to Nan Montgomery, the nutrition education program assistant at the Warren County Agriculture Extension office.

“Just because you may reheat that food back up in the oven or get ready to cook that meat, not all bacteria is going to get killed when cooking so it can make you sick and ultimately cause food born illness. So basically, your food can grow bacteria and make you sick. That is why you want to make sure hot food is kept hot and cold food is kept cold for food safety practices,” said Montgomery.

When it comes to dropping scraps on the floor for your fur babies, you want to avoid fatty or oily food, garlic, onions, grapes and of course chocolate.

“If there is a little bit of onion in that spoon full of green beans, it probably won’t hurt them. But you never know. So, the best thing is to leave them with their dog food and if you have to, mashed potatoes are usually pretty safe, bread isn’t bad, now stuffing, we put all kinds of stuff in it so you have to be pretty careful with that,” said Bowling Green veterinarian Elaine Painter.

If your pet does eat something unsafe, call your local veterinarian for help, do not induce vomiting without their guidance.

It is also advised not to wash your turkey in the sink as the water splatter can spread contaminants around your kitchen and potentially get you sick.