Gundersen Health System has some Thanksgiving food prep tips

LA CROSSE (WKBT) – If you’re in charge of making the Thanksgiving meal this year, the experts at Gundersen Health System say food safety begins with preparation.

They recommend trying to avoid storing raw meat next to other foods that don’t require cooking, like veggie and fruit trays, and when cooking meats, make sure they meet the proper internal temperature.

Red meats should be cooked to at least 145 degrees and ground meats and poultry, including your Thanksgiving turkey, should be cooked to 160 degrees.

And after serving the meal, be sure it doesn’t stay out too long.

“Something to think about is a temperature danger zone which is 40 degrees to 140 degrees,” said Gundersen Health System dietitian Cindy Leuck. “You don’t want foods in that temperature range for more than two hours before getting it cooled and into a refrigerator or freezer.”

‚ÄčExperts say you can safely store leftovers in the fridge for three to four days and three to four months in the freezer.