It’s a big eating week as America gathers to feast on turkey. Below are some quick tips to help avoid common bacteria that may lurk in your bird. If you’re wondering, the 5 most common turkey bacteria are E.Coli, Salmonella, Enterococcus, Staphylococcus aureus and Campylobacter.

Do take special care if you plan to be adventurous and dine on some tasty wild game. Animals in nature do harbor more exotic, nasty microbes. Yes, you can still catch black death (or plague) in the USA! Here is some game you might want to avoid at dinner:

  • Chipmunks and Prairie Dogs can carry Black Death
  • Red Squirrels can carry Leprosy
  • Fruit Bats can carry Ebola
  • West African rats can carry Lassa fever
  • Raccoons can carry Rabies
  • Muskrats might bring some love, but beware of the Tularemia bacteria. Tularemia sounds as pleasant as a muskrat, but it’s a lethal bacteria that was actually weaponized by the Soviet Union.

Have a safe and delicious holiday! Here are your turkey tips: Never thaw your turkey by leaving it out on the counter. A frozen turkey is safe indefinitely, but a thawing turkey must defrost at a safe temperature. When the turkey is left out at room temperature for more than two hours, its temperature moves into the danger zone between 40°F and 140°F, where bacteria can grow rapidly.