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As the Christmas holiday grows nearer and we set plans in motion to spend time with friends and family at the traditional dinner, you have to ask yourself - did you wash your turkey?

According to the research from data collectors iReach, almost half of Americans give the ol' holiday bird a bath before popping it in the oven in preparation for the feast - and that is a big no-no.  Nearly 4 in 10 Americans claim they scrub down the main course before they cook it.  It might sound counter-intuitive, but washing your turkey is one of the most dangerous things you can do when it comes to making the holiday meal.

Experts say that washing the big bird exponentially increases the likelihood that cross-contamination will occur and dangerous germs that can cause food poisoning.  Over spray, contaminated utensils, and even your hands can deliver these pathogens to other food.

According to Food Safety News, improperly storing leftovers is a common source of sickness over the holidays so make sure you are using clean containers with lids that seal for all of the "extra love."

Check out the rest of the tips here, and keep your family safe and full this Christmas.

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