Stop! Washing your Thanksgiving turkey could spread germs

NEW YORK (AP) — Go ahead and rinse your cranberries, potatoes and green beans. But food safety experts say don’t — repeat don’t — wash the turkey before popping it in the oven on Thanksgiving Day.

Germs that sicken people can come from all sorts of foods, but a lot of the advice around the country’s biggest eating holiday focuses on how turkeys should be handled.

Food safety experts say raw turkeys shouldn’t be washed since that can spread harmful bacteria. Cooking should kill any germs. But bacteria can still spread in other ways, so washing and sanitizing hands and surfaces are still important.

To ensure turkeys are properly cooked, experts also say people should use a thermometer to check that the deepest and thickest parts of the bird are 165 degrees.

And leftovers should be refrigerated within two hours.

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