Thanksgiving food safety tips

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT News)-- A series of illnesses have been making their way around Mesa County, and if you are still feeling sick you might want to stay away from the kitchen ... even on Thursday.

Mesa County Public Health says that if you are still feeling sick from some of the illnesses, you should not cook. You are advised to stay away from the kitchen until at least 24 hours after your last symptom goes away. The virus going around is spread person to person. If someone chooses to come over to your dinner while still sick, there is a chance that the virus can be spread even if they don't contaminate the food.

" [You] really want to try to minimize some of that contact. If you can use knives, spoons, forks and tongs versus your bare hands," says Ashley Miller with Mesa County Public Health.

Even if you aren't sick make sure to keep your raw turkeys away from your vegetables and cooked foods, which will also prevent the spread of bacteria. You are also advised to not wash your turkeys: “Studies show that when you wash your turkeys under running water it will expose the areas in your kitchen to the bacteria that’s on your turkey. Cooking is the only way to get those germs and that bacteria off your turkey,” says Miller.

MCPH also says to make sure to put leftovers away within two hours after cooking.

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