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Thanksgiving Day Food Safety Tips

by BROOKE GOLD HASSON | Nov 15, 2013

turkey-thanksgiving-225x300We hope your Thanksgiving Day will be filled with laughter, family, friends, and great food.  Along with the fun of Thanksgiving come’s with the preparations of hosting guests or perhaps you are just having your immediate family dinner. Whether you are new to holding Thanksgiving at your house or you host it every year- it’s important to keep the following safety tips in mind so that everyone can enjoy a safe, enjoyable get-together. People’s Trust Insurance wants to share with you these safety tips for Thanksgiving: 

Fire Safety:

  • Always remain in your home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove- have a ‘no children’ in the kitchen rule.
  • Never leave children alone in a room with a candle lit.  It’s best to use non-flammable candles, if you like the smell look for the ‘plug-in’s’ as a substitute.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them.
  • Never leave the kitchen when you are cooking food on the stovetop. 

Safe Thawing - Thawing turkeys must be kept at a safe temperature. The “danger zone” is between 40 and 140°F — the temperature range where foodborne bacteria multiply rapidly. While frozen, a turkey is safe indefinitely, but as soon as it begins to thaw, bacteria that may have been present before freezing can begin to grow again. There are three safe ways to thaw food: in the refrigerator, in cold water, and in a microwave oven.

Safe Preparation – Bacteria present on raw poultry can contaminate your hands, utensils, and work surfaces as you prepare the turkey. If these areas are not cleaned thoroughly before working with other foods, bacteria from the raw poultry can then be transferred to other foods. After working with raw poultry, always wash your hands, utensils, and work surfaces before they touch other foods.

Safe Stuffing - For optimal safety and uniform doneness, cook the stuffing outside the turkey in a casserole dish. However, if you place stuffing inside the turkey, do so just before cooking, and use a food thermometer. Make sure the center of the stuffing reaches a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F. Bacteria can survive in stuffing that has not reached 165°F, possibly resulting in foodborne illness.

Safe Cooking - Set the oven temperature no lower than 325°F and be sure the turkey is completely thawed. Place turkey breast-side up on a flat wire rack in a shallow roasting pan 2 to 2-1/2 inches deep. Check the internal temperature at the center of the stuffing and meaty portion of the breast, thigh, and wing joint using a food thermometer. Cooking times will vary. The food thermometer must reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F. Let the turkey stand 20 minutes before removing all stuffing from the cavity and carving the meat.

This Blog is sponsored by:
People’s Trust Insurance Company