Monday, 19 November 2018 16:51

Holiday wellness tips Featured

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BANGOR - Thanksgiving is only a few days away. We spoke with local health officials to learn ways to prevent getting sick during the holiday.

With millions expected to travel for Thanksgiving, health officials at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center say it's fairly easy to get sick while traveling.


"Eating airport food and touching things you don't normally touch. You're around people you're not usually around so sometimes that can compromise our immune system," said Jennifer Pitis, infection preventionist with Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center.


She said to take precautions before boarding the plane.


"Make sure you've got hand sanitizer with you. Before you touch something or your nose or mouth or face, you want to make sure you've got clean hands," said Pittis.


While many are traveling, others are working to prepare the feast. According to, poor cooking and improper food handling practices are the most common problems that lead to poultry-associated food-borne disease outbreaks in the U.S.


"They can get salmonella, campylobacter. Typically it can be diarrhea," said Andrea Byther, Clinical Dietician with Northern Light Cancer Institute.


No one wants to end up in the emergency room on a holiday with food poisoning. Byther said proper handling of raw meets is also important when preparing food.


"Washing your hands for 20 seconds after your handing raw food. You don't want to be cross-contaminating food," said Byther.


There's a proper way to defrost turkeys and people shouldn't just let them sit on the counter to thaw. According to people should put the bird in the fridge to defrost.


There's a ratio to follow. For every 4-5 pounds, you allow 24 hours. If you've got a 30 pound turkey and haven't already started, you may be giving it a bath.


"You put it, submerge it in water and then you have to change the water out every 30 minutes," said Byther.


Once it's cooked through, food shouldn't be kept out for more than 2 hours. After the big meal is over, sit back and relax before hitting those big sales.

Gina Marini

Morning Anchor/Reporter
[email protected]

Gina Marini, a graduate of Curry College, joined WVII ABC7 and WFVX Fox 22 after spending a little more 2 years with NH1 News in New Hampshire. During her time there, she spent time traveling the state bringin...