Thanksgiving Safety

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Thanksgiving is a holiday that brings friends and family together to share a good meal, conversation, and laughter. The kitchen is the heart of the home, especially at Thanksgiving. Take a few minutes to review these Thanksgiving Day kitchen safety tips, and enjoy the holiday without worry.

Food preparation safety is important, especially on Thanksgiving Day

– Wash your hands with soap and water before you start any food preparation.

– Make sure working areas and surfaces, utensils and plates are also clean.

– Use separate cutting or chopping boards for meats and for fruits and vegetables; avoid putting cooked food on cutting boards that have touched raw food.

– Avoid wiping your hands that have touched raw food with a dish towel.

– Keep raw food away from vegetables and side dishes that will not be cooked.

– Stuffing the turkey is not recommended. Cook the stuffing separately.

– Use a food thermometer. You can’t tell if the turkey is cooked simply by looking

– Check to make sure every part of the turkey reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 F, even if your turkey has a pop-up temperature indicator. Check the innermost part of the thigh and wing, and the thickest part of the breast.

– Let turkey stand for 20 minutes before carving to allow juices to set.

– Stuffing should also reach a minimum temperature of 165 F.

– Any dish containing eggs should be cooked to reach an internal temperature of 160 F.

– Use a separate clean spoon whenever tasting food from the pot. Do not use spoon for stirring to taste.

Keep these general safety tips in mind whenever you cook up a feast

– Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.

–  Stay in the home when cooking and check on the food frequently.

–  Keep potholders and food wrappers at least three feet away from heat sources while cooking

– Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks, or bags.

–  Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

– Wear tighter fitting clothing with shorter sleeves when cooking

– Make sure all stoves, ovens, and ranges have been turned off when you leave the kitchen

– Set timers to keep track of turkeys and other food items that require extended cooking times

– Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.

– Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy, or coffee could cause serious burns.

– Turn handles of pots and pans on the stove inward to avoid accidents.

– Follow all manufacturer guidelines regarding the appropriate use of appliances

As a holiday cook and host, keep the safety of your guests uppermost in your mind. Follow these safety tips and have a joyous Thanksgiving for all!

View and download the safety message on PDF here.

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