Gobble, Gobble, Gobble

We want everyone to be safe and healthy this Thanksgiving,  so we compiled a few safe cooking tips to keep your gobblers happy this holiday season!

SEPARATE FOODS to prevent cross-contamination

  • When you shop, keep the turkey separated from other foods in your cart
  • Place the turkey below other foods in your refrigerator to prevent juices leaking and contaminating other items
  • Use separate cutting boards for cooked and raw foods
  • Never put cooked turkey on a plate that had uncooked turkey on it, unless it’s been washed

CLEAN your hands and food surfaces often

  • Wash your hands, cutting boards, kitchen tools and counter tops with hot soapy water after you’re finished fixing the turkey

COOK foods to safe temperatures

  • Cook the turkey thoroughly by using a meat thermometer – never go on sight alone to determine if it’s cooked through
  • Cook the whole turkey unstuffed to 180 degrees F
  • Cook a turkey breast to 170 degrees F

CHILL foods appropriately

It is best to thaw the turkey in the refrigerator, NOT at room temperature

8 to 12 pounds         1 to 2 days
12 to 16 pounds       2 to 3 days
16 to 20 pounds      3 to 4 days
20 to 24 pounds      4 to 5 days

  • In a pinch, you can also thaw the turkey in cold water – be sure to cook the thawed turkey immediately
  • Put prepared foods and leftover turkey in the refrigerator within two hours
  • Split large amounts of leftovers into small bowls and cool them in the refrigerator

Practice safe cooking habits as well – cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries.

  • Never leave food cooking on the stove top or inside the oven unattended
  • Create a three-foot kid-free and pet-free zone around your stove
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you or your clothing
  • For small grease fires, put on an oven mitt, turn off the burner and smother the flames with a pan lid – NEVER pour water or use a fire extinguisher on a grease fire, as this can actually spread the fire
  • For microwave fires, keep the door closed and unplug the microwave

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

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