Eau Claire health experts share safe holiday cooking tips - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Eau Claire health experts share safe holiday cooking tips

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - Thanksgiving recipes are often passed down in families, but health officials warn those cooking to pay attention so they don't pass on illnesses.

Health department staff said the most common mistake made in food preparation is not separating raw foods that need to be cooked, like meat, from ready-to-eat foods, like produce. Health officials said juices from the raw foods can contaminate other uncooked foods, especially if raw foods are not stored in the bottom shelves of the fridge. The health department also said turkey needs to be cooked to 165 degrees and should be thawed in the fridge or by using a cool-water method.

Iris Lang, an environmental health specialist with the Eau Claire City-County Health Department, said symptoms of food-borne illnesses include cramping or nausea. "Most people, it is self-limiting. That just means in a couple of days, you will feel better,” Lang said. “You will be sick for a little while, but it is important to remember for very young people and for older people, and the immune can be compromised. It can be pretty serious. "

The health department said if you are feeling sick, you should avoid preparing any food for your family. 

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