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. Safety in the kitchen is important, especially on Thanksgiving Day when there is a lot of activity and people at Caution-home. 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.
- Use a timer and do kitchen checks when simmering, baking, broiling, and roasting.
- Cook the turkey immediately after thawing. Don’t slow cook or partially cook the turkey, and check the temperature or the turkey with a meat thermometer to make sure every part of the turkey reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 F.
- Let turkey stand for 20 minutes before carving to allow juices to set.
- Stuffing the turkey is not recommended. Cook the stuffing separately. Stuffing should also reach a minimum temperature of 165 F.
- Leftovers need to be put away within two hours after serving the food.
- Food should be stored in shallow containers. Meat should be removed from the bone before being put away.
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. If deep frying a turkey, keep the fryer outside, away from walls, fences and other structures.
- 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.
- Establish a safe zone around the stove while cooking – no children or pets within three feet
- Turn handles of pots and pans on the stove inward to avoid accidents.
As a holiday cook and host, keep the safety of your guests uppermost in your mind. Remember these suggestions and have a happy and safe holiday.