A roast chicken is one of the easiest main dishes to cook, and it's plenty guest-worthy to boot. But the last thing you want to do during Sunday dinner is get the people gathered 'round the table sick from food poisoning.

You probably already know you can't tell by color alone if the bird has reached the safe internal temperature of 165 degrees F. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a chicken can look done but still contain live bacteria that could make you sick. (Perhaps you also know not to rinse the bird, which just risks spreading salmonella.) But what you may not know is where to insert the food thermometer. (Using one can help you avoid overcooking your chicken as well as undercooking it).

Related: 6 Safety Mistakes Never to Make When Cooking Chicken

According to the USDA, you should insert in not just one but three places: the thickest part of the breast, the innermost of the thigh and the innermost part of the wing. Be careful to not touch any bone, fat or gristle when you insert it. Allow the temperature to register over the course of 10 seconds.

Don't leave the thermometer in the chicken while it’s cooking. Instead, insert it at least five minutes before the chicken is supposed to be done. Make sure you clean it with hot, soapy water before and after each use to make sure you're not transferring any bacteria to your food.

Related: Food Safety Fails

Before you sit down to enjoy your meal, remember to wash your hands thoroughly with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds to avoid transferring any bacteria.

Like this article? Share it with friends by clicking the Facebook or Twitter button below. And don't forget to visit our Facebook page!

Muriel Vega is a writer with a passion for budget travel and staying safe while abroad. A Georgia State University graduate, she has over 6 years of editorial experience and has written for The Guardian, The Atlantic, The Billfold, among other outlets. In her free time, you can find her baking pies, playing with her two dogs and cat, or planning her next vacation. She spends way too much time on Twitter, one of her favorite social media channels. Her favorite safety tip: Make sure you have all the necessary shots before you go abroad.