Today, careful cooking and handling of food can avoid potential
hazards. Since the Indians and Pilgrims first got together in 1621, most food poisoning related to turkey comes not from cooking, but, rather, from cooking and storing. First, a bird should always be cooked thoroughly to an internal temperature of 180 degrees. Check with a meat thermometer and not just a pop-up button. But that's just where food safety begins. The following 2-2-4 rule for serving, cooling and storage can help prevent food-related illnesses. First is "2 hours": move the meal from the oven to the table to the fridge in two hours or less; next is "2 inches": store and cool food at a shallow depth -- 2 inches or less, to speed chilling: finally is "4 days": eat refrigerated leftovers in four days or fewer (and freeze the rest). Remember 2-2-and-4 makes Thanksgiving safe forevermore. And that's the On The House Tip for today.