Holiday Food Safety

Holiday Food Safety Resources

New Web Site

The Thanksgiving feast traditionally marks the beginning of the holiday season. A new web site,, puts food safety in the context of all the planning and preparation families put into their holiday celebration. The site includes food shopping and preparation tips, recipes, and food safety advice and activities — all in one convenient location.

FDA Hotline

The FDA hotline at 1-888-SAFEFOOD (1-888-723-3366) fields consumers’ questions about safe handling of the many foods that go into a delicious holiday meal, including eggs, dairy, fresh produce, and seafood. The hotline operates Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Consumers can also email questions to

Where Cooks Can Turn

Cooks taking on turkey preparation are just a phone call away from advice at the USDA meat and poultry hotline, 1-888-MPHOTLINE (1-888-674-6854). The hotline operates Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET, and will operate on Thanksgiving Day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET. Consumers can also “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day, at

Good Advice

“The most critical food safety practice when preparing a whole turkey is using a food thermometer,” said USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Jerold Mande. “The minimum internal temperature must reach 165° F for safety.”

“Foodborne bacteria never take a holiday, so it’s important to be mindful this Thanksgiving of the four core safe handling messages of Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill when preparing your holiday meal,” said PFSE Executive Director Shelley Feist.

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