Thanksgiving Food Safety…Keep Everyone Healthy!

I can’t promise you that everything you eat tomorrow will be fantastic.  Perhaps your cat hoarding Aunt Mathilda made that bread pudding again that’s chock full of Persian Furballs.  Maybe your newly married cousin experimented with an Éclair Cake recipe but didn’t know the difference between powdered sugar and regular sugar.  Perhaps grandma can’t taste salt anymore, and went a little overboard with the cornbread.

Things happen.

But I imagine you’ll have plenty of great things to eat, like turkey. Gravy. Mashed potatoes and the like.  There’ll be those cousins you love there, your friends that may as well be family, and of course, the uncle that drives you crazy.  It will be a great time, and the food and festivities will be wonderful overall.

Just take a little care to be safe.

If you are eating earlier in the day, say, 1 in the afternoon, you might just think it’s easier to leave a lot of the food out on the table, for those ballgame watchers who keep picking at the leftovers.  I get it.  It’s simpler than packaging it all up, just to have 3 sleepy men want you to drag it back out 25 minutes later.  But…you need to be careful.

Here are some suggested “Safe Times” for traditional holiday leftovers to stay out at room temperature:

  • Turkey/Ham – 2 hours
  • Green Beans/Potatoes/other cooked Vegetables – 2-3 hours
  • Bread/Stuffing – Safe to leave out all day. Cover to prevent drying out.
  • Cake/Pie – Safe for all day. Keep covered. Or hide. Or pretend it’s all gone.
  • Deviled Eggs – No more than 2 hours, and after refrigeration, consume within 3 days.

For egg safety – to stay healthy and avoid foodborne illness — USDA advises:

  • Always buy eggs from a refrigerated case. Choose eggs with clean, uncracked shells.
  • Buy eggs before the "Sell-By" or "EXP" (expiration) date on the carton.
  • Take eggs straight home from the grocery store and refrigerate them right away. Check to be sure your refrigerator is set at 40°F or below. Don’t take eggs out of the carton to put them in the refrigerator — the carton protects them. Keep the eggs in the coldest part of the refrigerator — not on the door.
  • Raw shell eggs in the carton can stay in your refrigerator for three to five weeks from the purchase date. Although the "Sell-By" date might pass during that time, the eggs are still safe to use. (The date is not required by federal law, but some states may require it.)
  • Always wash your hands with warm water and soap before and after handling raw eggs. To avoid cross-contamination, you should also wash forks, knives, spoons and all counters and other surfaces that touch the eggs with hot water and soap.
  • Don’t keep raw or cooked eggs out of the refrigerator more than two hours.
  • Egg dishes such as deviled eggs or egg salad should be used within 3 to 4 days.

If you have a question about meat, poultry or egg products, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline toll free at 1-888-MPHotline or 1-888-674-6854, TTY: 1-800-256-7072.

Want to take your food safety a step further?  Especially when it comes to eggs?  I have recently become an ambassador for Safest Choice™, as a member of their Darling Dozen.  Their eggs are  pasteurized in the shell, before you ever get them!  They taste the same (they’re eggs, after all), no weird chemicals were added, and they are already SAFE to consume, even before cooking!  So…love cookie dough?  Love Caesar Salad?  These both include uncooked eggs. With Safest Choice, you’re good to go!

What is pasteurization?

Pasteurization is a century-old process that destroys pathogens through simple heat, and is well-
known for its role in making milk and juices safe to enjoy. To pasteurize a food means to destroy
harmful microorganisms (e.g., bacteria and viruses) by applying a precise amount of heat for a
specified period of time. This straightforward food safety technique was invented by French
chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur in 1864.

Pasteurization is an all natural process, in that it involves only heat (not chemicals or irradiation). Safest Choice eggs go through a series of warm water baths to eliminate bacteria. It’s that simple!

Visit for more information on the Safest Choice Darling Dozen, or follow Safest Choice on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

About Davidson’s Safest Choice Eggs:

Davidson's Safest Choice EggsFounded in 2001, in Lansing, IL, National Pasteurized Eggs is a privately held company that launched the Davidson’s Safest Choice® brand pasteurized shell eggs in 2003. Safest Choice eggs can be found in over 5,000 grocery stores, in thousands of restaurants and through major foodservice distributors in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Mexico. Safest Choice eggs provide consumers the highest combined standard for quality and safety in shell eggs and the Safest Choice patented, all natural, award-winning egg pasteurization process allows everyone to enjoy all recipes without the risk of Salmonella. For more information or to find a retailer, visit

I hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

(PS – I was kidding about hiding the dessert. Kind of.)

Disclaimer: I am an ambassador for Safest Choice Eggs, as part of the Darling Dozen.  This post is sponsored, but all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.