Thanksgiving is one week away and it is time to prepare to have a safe and festive holiday. Thanksgiving can come with several health hazards, including an increased chance of fires, food poisoning and choking. Take a few minutes to review these Thanksgiving Day safety tips, and enjoy the holiday without worry.
Safety Tips for the Feast
While you get busy in the kitchen, make sure that safety doesn’t get lost in the whirlwind:
- Keep the cooking range free of clutter. Even though you have myriad dishes to prepare, don’t overload a cook top with too many pots and pans. Trying to cook all your dishes at once could cause grease to accidentally spill onto a range top and cause a fire.
- Do not try to hold your child in one arm while cooking with the other. Holding a child while cooking is an invitation for a burn. It’s best to keep your child out of the kitchen while you’re cooking.
- Never put a glass casserole or lid on the stove or over a burner. If it gets hot and explodes, it will send dangerous shards of glass in all directions.
- Do not pour water on a grease fire. Pouring water on a grease fire can cause the fire to spread. In the event of a range-top fire, turn off the burner, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding a lid onto the pan. Leave the lid in place until the pot or pan is cooled.
- Avoid using a turkey fryer. Because turkey fryers pose a number of distinct safety concerns, including burn and fire hazards, UL does not certify any turkey fryers. If a family decides they must use a turkey fryer this Thanksgiving, UL urges them to be extremely cautious and read its turkey fryer safety tips here.
- Keep a clean work surface. Be sure to wash surfaces, utensils, the sink and hands after handling raw food. It’s a good idea to identify one cutting board for raw meats and one for other uses.
- Un-stuff the turkey. According to the USDA, for optimum safety, stuffing a turkey is not recommended. For more even cooking, cook the stuffing outside the bird in a casserole dish until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Thaw the bird with care. If using a frozen turkey, the USDA recommends thawing it in the refrigerator in its original wrapping, in a tray or pan that can catch any juices that may leak.
- Call for help. If you’ve accidentally cooked the giblets inside the turkey, melted the œhock lock or have any other questions about cooking your Thanksgiving bird, be safe and call the pros at the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline: 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854)