On Thursday, millions of Americans will sit down with family and friends, likely over a large turkey, for the most practiced meal of the year. Our familiarity with it, and the way we pass down the instructions for its preparation, is perhaps what gives the day its generally good food safety record. The biggest food safety hurdle for this gathering is passed by following the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) advice: get a fresh turkey into the oven within two days and to keep it there for five and one-half hours at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for the typical 20 to 24-pound stuffed turkey. When the preparation time and the cooking time is added up, it still leaves all the time demanded by the National Football League (NFL) or other alternative activities of your choice. People who, during all the other days of the year, are doing millions of different things, on Thanksgiving do almost exactly the same things. USDA’s National Economic Statistic Service reports that for 2014, Americans will consume 51 million turkeys on Thursday at a cost of about $1.15 per pound. It estimates that everyone eats about one and one-half pounds of turkey once the days of leftovers are included. Given the number of traditional side dishes, most households have an easy time preparing some to accommodate their vegan and vegetarian friends and family—about 5 percent of the U.S. population or about 16 million people, according to the Harris Interactive study. Anyone who wants to pick up the tab for everybody on Thanksgiving should leave $2.375 billion on the table, plus tip, of course. It works out to something like $54.18 per household. This will be the 151st Thanksgiving celebrated by Americans since President Abraham Lincoln first proclaimed the holiday in 1863. The day before that first official Thanksgiving, the Union Army attacked the Confederate Army of Tennessee at the Battle of Missionary Ridge, at Chattanooga. Since then, Thanksgiving has become a marker for how much U.S. history has been packed between its observation and the rapidly approaching the end of the year. That year-end feeling of complacency we develop on Thanksgiving Day preceded Pearl Harbor, The Chosin Reservoir, and the Battle of the Bulge. So enjoy the family and friends. Eat safe. Have a Happy Thanksgiving. We’ll have a couple normal days around here before we slack off like the rest of you. But we won’t become too complacent and neither should you.