USDA Provides Valuable Safety Tips For Holiday Cooking

WASHINGTON (JCHAYWARD.COM) –A food safety specialist at the USDA, Cici Williamson, joined JC Hayward on Friday to discuss tips for safe holiday cooking.

“48 million people get a food born illness during the year in the U.S.,” says Williamson.

Most important item for Thanksgiving you need to make sure you have when cooking for your family and friends? Williamson says you must use a food thermometer!

See more helpful hints below.

According to the USDA, A food thermometer should be used to ensure a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F has been reached to destroy bacteria and prevent foodborne illness.

For more information, click here. 

See Below For CiCi’s Cornbread Sausage Stuffing Recipe

Food safety tips: Make the stuffing immediately before baking the casserole OR stuffing a turkey. The vegetables and sausage can be cooked ahead of time and refrigerated, but do not combine the wet and dry ingredients until just before baking. If you wish to make the stuffing and not bake it immediately, freeze the casserole and bake it frozen.

4              cups dry cornbread stuffing

4              cups dry herb stuffing

1              stick butter (1/2 cup or 8 tablespoons)

2              cups chopped onion

2              cups chopped celery

2              teaspoons dried rubbed sage (OR 4 teaspoons chopped fresh sage)

2              teaspoons dried thyme (OR 4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme)

1              pound bulk sausage (any flavor)

4              cups chicken broth

2              large eggs, lightly beaten


·         Grease a 9×11-inch baking dish; set aside.

·         Place cornbread and dry herb stuffing in a large bowl; set aside.

·         Melt butter in a large skillet. Add onions and celery. Stirring often, cook about 5 minutes, or until vegetables are almost soft. Stir in herbs and add the mixture to the dry stuffing in the bowl.

·         Cut bulk sausage crosswise into 10 patties. Preheat same skillet and brown patties on one side. Turn patties over and cook until the meat reaches 160 degrees F. Set aside to cool.

·         When sausage patties are cool enough to handle, crumble them into the stuffing mixture.

·         Stir the broth and eggs into the stuffing mixture. Stir to mix the ingredients evenly, and pour the stuffing into the prepared baking dish.

·         Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Bake the stuffing for 30 minutes, or until center of stuffing reaches 165 degrees F as measured with a food thermometer.

·         Makes 8 servings.


Note: This stuffing may also be used to stuff a turkey. Make sure the stuffing reaches 165 degrees F before removing the turkey from the oven.