When it comes to entertaining family and friends for Thanksgiving, there are plenty of things you might worry about: everything from seating and music to feuding family and unruly kids. But the worst thing I could imagine is discovering the food has made a loved one sick. After all, if Aron or I get sick, the punishment is ours, but if the people you invite to Thanksgiving—grandmothers, nephews, parents—get sick, it’s a whole different level of shame.
My mother-in-law, Dr. Christine Bruhn, who recently retired from the Department of Food Science and Technology at UC Davis, is an expert in food safety (and people’s attitudes toward it, more specifically), so I decided to go to her for five ways to keep your family healthy (and free of food-borne illness) at Thanksgiving. It may not be as sexy as how to make a bourbon-maple pecan pie, but neither is wondering if you have the “flu” over the holiday.
Here are five common mistakes people make at Thanksgiving: