This Thanksgiving, take proper planning, preparation, and storage steps to ensure this side dish is not only delicious, but free from harmful bacteria.
* Start by determining how much stuffing you need. When serving individual-sized portions, plan for about 1/2 cup of prepared stuffing per serving. If stuffing whole poultry, plan for about 1/2 to 1 cup of prepared stuffing per pound of uncooked poultry.
* Have a food thermometer ready. Stuffing should reach an internal temperature of 165°F, which may take longer if cooked inside of poultry or meat. For maximum safety, consider cooking stuffing separately in a casserole.
* When stuffing the large cavity of fresh or thawed whole poultry, use a moist stuffing mixture rather than a dry one. Spoon the stuffing loosely, avoiding over-stuffing the bird.
* Refrigerate any leftover foods that are perishable within two hours. When reheating leftovers, make sure they reach an internal temperature of 165°F once again before eating them.