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Living Well In Yalobusha County

Test Your Holiday Food Safety Knowledge

By Pamela Redwine

The holiday season can put people at risk for food borne illnesses. Refrigerators and dining rooms are full, parties and celebrations are plentiful and some of the foods are only prepared once a year. Test your food safety knowledge by answering the following TRUE or FALSE questions. When in doubt, throw it out!


1. It’s safe to use a turkey that has been in the freezer for over a year. TRUE or FALSE

2. Because it has been cooked for such a long time, it’s OK to let the Thanksgiving turkey or the Christmas ham set out until you make sandwiches later. TRUE or FALSE

3. Leftovers should be cooled before placing them in the refrigerator. TRUE or FALSE

4. To save time on Thanksgiving Day, it’s safe to stuff the turkey the night before and cook it all night in a low heat oven. TRUE or FALSE

5. When there isn’t room in the refrigerator, it’s safe to leave food outside, in the garage or on an extra porch to keep cold. TRUE or FALSE

6. Since you’ve been using it for years, and no one has ever gotten sick, it’s safe to use the old family recipe for eggnog that calls for raw eggs. TRUE or FALSE

7. Because room temperature speeds things up, putting the large turkey on the kitchen counter or setting in the sink is the best way to get it thawed quickly, besides, there’s no room for it to thaw in the refrigerator. TRUE or FALSE

8. Because parties and buffet lines can go on for several hours, care should be taken to keep hot food hot and cold food cold. TRUE or FALSE

9. Pumpkin pies should be refrigerated. TRUE or FALSE

10. Perishable foods received from a mailorder company are always safe to eat when they arrive. TRUE or FALSE


1. TRUE. A whole turkey can be safely frozen for 12 months if the temperature in the freezer has been constant.

2. FALSE. Any perishable food should not be allowed to set at room temperature for longer than two hours.

3. FALSE. Food does not need to be completely cooled before the leftovers are put in  the refrigerator. If you have a large quantity of hot food break it down into several small  containers or chill in an ice bath.

4. FALSE. For safe turkey, the oven should be no lower than 325 degrees F. Once started, a turkey should be cooked completely until it reaches at least 165 degrees F.

5. FALSE. There is no guarantee that the temperature outside will stay cold enough to keep food safe.

6. FALSE. The American Egg Board does not recommend the consumption of raw eggs by anyone.

7. FALSE. Slow thawing in the refrigerator is the best method. It will take one day for each five pounds of turkey.

8. TRUE. If you know that the event will last longer than two hours, make plans to keep the hot foods over 140 degrees F and the cold foods below 40 degrees F. Instead of putting all the food out early in the event, place small amounts on several serving platters and replace the platters after two hours.

9. TRUE. Pumpkin is a custard pie and must be refrigerated.

10. FALSE Even foods shipped from reputable mail-order companies may be mishandled and may be unsafe when they arrive.

Article Source: Communicating Food For Health.  Written By Cheryl Jones Syracuse, MS, Professor Emeritus, Ohio State University Extension

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