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‘Get that food in the refrigerator as soon as you can’: El Paso doctor warns of food poisoning risks on Thanksgiving

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- The Medical Director for the West Texas Regional Poison Center is warning about food poisoning risks on Thanksgiving.

Dr. Sarah Watkins recommends using a meat thermometer when cooking poultry, including turkey. The CDC says a turkey will be safely cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

Once a Thanksgiving meal is cooked, Dr. Watkins says dishes should not sit out longer than an hour or two.

"Bacteria under the right conditions, E. coli in particular, can multiply once every twenty minutes," Dr. Watkins said. "You can imagine one becomes two, two becomes four, four become eight, so before too long you have this huge colony of bacteria. You do not want to be eating that. Just get that food in the refrigerator as soon as you can."

Dr. Watkins said Thanksgiving leftovers should be safe to eat for two to three days if stored in the refrigerator.

Dr. Watkins said that most food poisoning cases should resolve without antibiotics, though she urges the individuals to seek medical attention if they are unable to keep liquids down. To combat dehydration, Dr. Watkins recommends drinking a mix of half sports drink and half water.

El Paso / Lifestyle / News / Video

Madeline Ottilie

Madeline Ottilie is a reporter on Good Morning El Paso and co-anchors ABC-7 at noon.

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