Everyone looks forward to having a big, delicious meal with friends and family on Thanksgiving Day. But, if you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner for a crowd, the stress can mount. Did you know that cooking fires happen most often on Thanksgiving Day? Also, poison control centers receive hundreds of calls about food poisoning during the Thanksgiving holiday?
We’ve put together some tips to help keep you and your guests safe during your upcoming holiday feast.
Safely Handle Your Turkey
Bacteria from raw turkey can contaminate anything it touches.
- Thaw the turkey in the refrigerator
- Store raw turkey in a leak-proof container on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator to avoid contamination of other food.
- Clean and sanitize your sink, counters, utensils and your hands after coming in contact with raw turkey.
- Use a meat thermometer to make sure your turkey’s internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
- Refrigerate leftovers within two hours of cooking.
Safely Cook Your Meal
Kitchen fires and burns can occur without proper precautions.
- Don’t leave food on the stove unattended.
- Keep a smoke alarm and fire extinguisher on every level of your home.
- Avoid propane-powered deep fryers as they can lead to overheating and oil combustion. Electric fryers are much safer and can be used indoors.
In addition to these food safety tips, keep in mind that overeating can not only make you feel uncomfortable, it can trigger more serious health conditions. It is best not to fast all day in anticipation of the big meal later. Eat a high protein snack to take the edge off your hunger, so you can avoid overeating when the meal is served.
For more food preparation safety tips, click here.