November 9, 2020
More than ever, we should take a moment to express gratitude. During Thanksgiving, we take to the kitchen to enjoy great food, stories, and love. However, Thanksgiving is one of the most dangerous holidays for fires and food poisoning. Follow these safety tips to keep yourself and your loved ones safe while cooking on Thanksgiving.
If you handle food items improperly or undercook certain items, you run the risk of food posioning. Before you begin cooking on Thanksgiving, make sure you safely thaw your turkey. Allow approximately 24 hours of thawing time for every 5 pounds of turkey. If you’re pressed for time, thaw your turkey in cold water for approximately 30 minutes for every pound of turkey. A 10 lbs. turkey will take about 5 hours to thaw completely. If you use the cold water method, cook the turkey immediately after thawing.
For the rest of your menu, prep all other items separate from any raw meats to prevent cross-contamination.
Whenever you’re cooking, you should always be present in the room to watch for any accidents. On Thanksgiving, your turkey should be completely thawed before cooking. Check on it frequently and use a food thermometer to measure its internal temperature. At a minimum, a whole turkey’s internal temperature should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cooking food unattended is not only dangerous, but it’s the leading cause of home fires. If a small fire ignites on a pan on your stovetop, cover the pan with a lid and turn off the burner. Keep the lid on the pan until it has cooled. If a fire ignites in your oven, turn your oven off and shut the oven door. Allow the fire to burn out on its own. Once the fire is extinguished, open the windows in your kitchen and slowly open the oven door to allow the smoke to clear.
Consider storing a fire extinguisher in your kitchen in case of an emergency. Always remember — if the fire is too big to extinguish on your own, leave your house and call 911.
The kitchen can be a scary and dangerous place for children. Keep all knives out and sharp items out of their reach. Keep a close eye on children and at least three feet away from the stove and away from all hot food and liquids. Never leave children alone without supervision.
Have you thought about your holiday decorations and shopping yet? Here’s how to stay safe this holiday season.