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Bacteria on your turkey? How not to get sick this Thanksgiving.

It's a common mistake. People let the turkey cool completely before carving it up and putting it in the fridge.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — When you think of germs, you think about using spray a cleaner and wiping down handles and knobs. On Thanksgiving, the bacteria you should be paying close attention to is the kind that grows on your turkey.

“A whole turkey can take a long time to cool down which gives bacteria a chance to multiply,” said Amy Keating of Consumer Reports.

The bacteria that grows is called clostridium perfringens.
That translates to food poisoning. Don't let your bird sit out. Carve up your turkey for leftovers before 2 hours is up. You can store the wings or legs on the bone, but you need to slice off the breast meat.

Guilford County Public Registered Dietician Janet Mayer joined 2WTK  to take your holiday food safety questions. This video includes how to know when your turkey is done and if you should cook the stuffing inside the bird. 

Part of Thanksgiving is eating the leftovers. But how long do you think leftovers are good for in the fridge? Is it three, five, or seven days?

Leftovers are good for three days. That's it. Unless you freeze them.

"To preserve the quality of your food and reduce moisture loss, you want to keep it airtight so use products specifically designed for the freezer, like freezer bags or freezer paper or airtight containers, “ said Keating.

In this video, Janet talks about how to pack up leftovers. 

One thing you don't have to worry about is fruit pies. These can be stored loosely covered on the counter if you’re planning to eat it in one or two days.

But put that pumpkin pie or any other egg-based or custard pie in the fridge.