Good morning!

Thanksgiving prep time is really upon us!  We are chopping, chilling, shaking, and baking!  Meat, poultry, eggs, and vegetables are all over the kitchen waiting to be turned into family feast!

Let’s make sure we are set up to sit in the dining room with family, and not an ER waiting room with sick strangers!

Before I tackle the tips though, breaking news:  There is a recall on romaine lettuce from Salinas, California that is distributed nationally.  I had the Greek salad from Pappadeux last night and had “symptoms,” and I will leave it at that!

There have been 67 E. coli cases as of 11/26/19.  Hydroponic and Greenhouse grown lettuce is not included in the warning.  If you don’t know where your lettuce came from, toss it or see about returning it to the store.

Back to the Tips.

Let’s start with the kitchen sink.

  1. Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm running water before, during, and after the handling of food.  Wash the back of your hands, between the fingers, and under your nails.
  2. Wash off fruit and vegetables before peeling them to avoid contaminating their insides with outside bacteria.
  3. Don’t wash off raw meat, poultry or eggs, as you risk spreading water laden with bacteria around your prep area.

Cue the cutting boards!

  1. Use a one board for produce, and another for seafood, meat, poultry and eggs.
  2. Wash your boards thoroughly with hot soapy water or put them in the dishwasher if they are dishwasher safe.

Have it hot!

  1. Have a food thermometer handy to make sure your food is cooked hot enough inside to kill germs. Put it in the thickest part of the food, away from the fat and gristle.
  2. The safe minimum cooking temperatures are as follows:
  3. Fish-145 degrees F
  4. Poultry, ground poultry included-165 degrees F
  5. Ground beef, pork, lamb and veal-160 degrees F
  6. Beef, lamb, pork, veal roasts, steaks and chops- 140 degrees F (let stand 3 minutes before serving)
  7. Keep food warm in a chafing dish, warming plate, or slow cooker.

Master your microwave!

  1. Know the wattage, lower wattages =longer cooking times. Check inside the door, or your owners’ manual, or online
  2. Follow instructions for proper cooking and standing times after cooking to make sure any cool areas get heat from hot areas so food cooks more thoroughly.
  3. Stir food in the middle of heating, rotate food if you don’t have a rotating tray.
  4. Make sure with a food thermometer that reheated food reaches at least 165 degrees F.

Revamp your Refrigerator!

  1. Before loading it with Thanksgiving goodies, clean it out to eliminate confusion about old and new food, and create space beforehand.  Discard food left unrefrigerated over 2 hours!
  2. Make sure the temp in the fridge is 32-40 degrees F
  3. Refrigerate eggs, milk, and meats within 2 hours and within one hour if the temp in the kitchen is beyond 90 degrees F.
  4. Break down large pieces of food to store in smaller shallow containers so they chill faster.
  5. Store raw meat on the bottom shelf, away from ready to eat food, and produce.
  6. Marinate and thaw foods in the refrigerator.

I know this was a lot, but there will be a lot of people in the ERs over the Thanksgiving holiday due to gastrointestinal issues.  Don’t be one of them!

Share this message with your family, friends, and coworkers!

Be safe, be successful while eating!

Happy a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Dr. Kadisha


Follow me at drkadishamd on Facebook, Instagram, and twitter!

Check out my best-selling book, “Help Us Help You in the Emergency Room,” at

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