It’s time to CELLebrate and enjoy some time with your family and friends. Here are some tips to help you avoid holiday pathogens so you can keep your wings flapping through the feast.

  • Keep your eyes peeled and your microscope focused on these 5 common turkey bacteria: E.Coli, Salmonella, Enterococcus, Staphylococcus aureus and Campylobacter.

  • 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 (4°C) and 140°F (60°C), where bacteria can grow rapidly.

  • Take care when dining on wild game to avoid Black Death, Leprosy and other horrors. Animals in the forests and lowlands harbor more exotic and nastier microbes.

  • Be sure to thoroughly inspect raccoons for rabies, muskrats for tularemia bacteria, African rats for Lassa fever, red squirrels for leprosy and take special care when handling prairie dogs, which carry Plague (sentimentally known as Black Death).

  • Listen to your neurons and cardiomyocytes, and never invite Heliobacter pylori, Shigella or Salmonella to your CELLebration.

Have a safe and delicious holiday and let’s all give special thanks to our microbiome and the trillions of microbes who make us who we are!