With all these guidelines, how is it that the Pilgrims didn't all fall facedown in their mashed potatoes? "We don't know that they didn't," Berry tells WebMD. "We didn't have the medical technology in place that we do today. We do know that people died of food-borne illnesses. But, people devised ways of keeping the food safe. ... They learned over time."
Huss says the largest concern nowadays is for "young people, old people, and those taking immunosuppressants, otherwise we'd all be sick. Most of us can throw that stuff [bacteria] off fairly well."
Berry agrees, in principal. "The human body is just a phenomenal thing," she says. "People don't realize they are adjusting [over time] to the level of organisms with which they are living. ... It's only when you encounter those levels that you're not used to that you become ill."
She says, "It isn't difficult to prepare a safe meal, but I want people to realize why it's important to do so."
That importance, according to Huss, generally means, "if you ever get it [food poisoning], you don't want it again."
Huss tells WebMD the bottom line is that "some people throw everything away because they're afraid they're going to get sick the next day. Well, cook the turkey, serve the turkey, enjoy the turkey, cut it up, put it in your refrigerator, use it the next day and the next."