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4 ways your Thanksgiving turkey could make you sick

Your guests will thank you for following these safety guidelines.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Thanksgiving is nearly here and there’s a good chance you’re about to be cooking up a storm -- but before you do, make sure your good intentions don’t end up making you and everyone around your table sick.

Here are four ways your turkey could make you sick:

1. Your thawing method 

Leaving your turkey out at room temperature to thaw can end up making you sick. Experts say bacteria starts to develop after two hours.

The best way to thaw a frozen turkey is to put it in the refrigerator -- just make sure you have enough time to ensure it can completely thaw.

2. You rinsed your turkey before cooking 

You’ve seen grandma wash the turkey in the sink before putting it in the oven for years so naturally, you do the same. 

The problem? 

Rinsing the turkey off can spread bacteria all over your kitchen.

3. Your turkey is undercooked 

Make sure your turkey cooks to 165 degrees. Check the thickest part of your bird using a meat thermometer for accuracy.

4. Leaving your cooked turkey out for too long 

You can only safely leave out your bird for up to two hours after it’s cooked. Once you pass that two-hour mark, it starts to spoil -- and quickly. Make sure you refrigerate your turkey before you take a nap!

Follow these guidelines for a safe and healthy Thanksgiving feast!

Contact Carolyn Bruck at cbruck@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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