Prevent, Promote, and Protect your Health with the Lake County General Health District
(440) 350-2543
5966 Heisley Rd
Mentor, Ohio 44060

Holiday Food Safety


  • Plan ahead for enough oven, refrigerator and freezer space.
  • Refrigerate food promptly after shopping.  If making several stops, purchase food last.
  • Always wash hands before cooking.
  • Thaw a turkey submerged in cold running water for several hours or in the refrigerator for several days using a drip pan to catch leaks.
  • Roast the turkey and stuffing to a minimum internal temperature of 1650F measured in the innermost part of the thigh and the thickest part of the breast with an accurate thermometer.  Do not rely on a pop up indicator.
  • Wash everything that comes in contact with raw eggs, raw meat, or raw poultry and its juices, including the sink, utensils, cutting board and your hands.
  • Never place cooked food back on the same plate that held raw food.
  • Discard any perishable food that is left out at room temperature longer than 2 hours. When in doubt, throw it out.
  • Promptly refrigerate leftovers.  Divide food into smaller portions to chill quickly.
  • If transporting food, use insulated coolers to keep food hot or cold.  Wrapping casseroles in newspapers will also help food keep the appropriate temperature.
  • Custard pies, including pumpkin must be stored in a refrigerator.
  • Homemade eggnog must be made with pasteurized eggs.