Sure, the holidays are all about getting together with friends, family and the ones we love. But you don't want to have these guests drop by your Christmas dinner!

The 'guests' I'm talking about are actually those nasty bacteria that can cause foodborne illness. And they could be lurking right there in your holiday dinner if you're not careful. Because I'm guessing one thing you DON'T want for Christmas is a case of food poisoning.

According to an article by Rochester's own Mayo Clinic, cross-contamination of raw foods can be a big source of food-borne illness during the holidays.

"Any sort of raw meat needs to be carefully handled. Anything that has touched that raw meat should be considered contaminated, including your hands,"  Dr. Pritish Tosh, a Mayo Clinic infectious diseases specialist, said in the story. "Whether it’s an uncooked ham, turkey or a piece of beef, consider everything that it has touched to be contaminated," he noted.

But that's not all. Even your holiday baking (like those Christmas cookies, cakes and breads) could head south in a hurry with a case of food-borne illness if you're not paying attention.

"Be careful not to eat raw dough or let others, especially children, sample the dough or lick the spoon. Raw flour and raw eggs may contain harmful bacteria that will make people sick," the story noted.

The story went on to list several things you can do to make sure your holiday dinner doesn't also include those unwanted guests that could end up making you sick. You can check it out HERE.

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