Don’t forget about safety as you prepare for feasting and fun. A few simple precautions will help prevent accidents and keep your holiday stress-free. Here are four tips to boost safety this Thanksgiving.
1. Pay Attention to the Food to Boost Safety This Thanksgiving
Make sure to prepare all of the food correctly. Cook the turkey until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Poultry and pork should be cooked until it is no longer pink in the middle.
While serving, keep hot food hot and cold food cold to keep it from getting contaminated. Hot food should be kept at 140 degrees Fahrenheit or above, while cold food should be at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
If you’re cooking a turkey, thaw it completely before putting it in the oven. Stay in the kitchen and watch what’s on the stove. Turn off the burner if you have to leave for even a minute; otherwise, have another adult present to watch the food. Keep flammable items like oven mitts, wooden utensils, and paper towels away from the stovetop.
2. Keep Kids and Pets Out of the Kitchen
The kitchen is the heart of the home, and Thanksgiving is when family and friends gather to enjoy each other’s company and a delicious meal. But when young children and pets are in the house, that can present extra challenges for keeping everyone safe.
Make sure to provide ways to occupy young children and pets. Give your kids coloring books or puzzles to keep them busy while you’re working in the kitchen. If you have a pet, put them in their crate or another room where they can’t get underfoot.
3. Practice Food Storage Safety to Boost Safety This Thanksgiving
When it comes to storing Thanksgiving leftovers, safety is critical. Here are a few tips to help you have a safe Thanksgiving:
- Heat turkey, stuffing, and gravy to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit when serving as leftovers.
- Store leftovers in shallow containers so they cool quickly to help prevent the growth of bacteria.
- Refrigerate leftovers within two hours of cooking. If the food has been sitting out for longer than that, throw it away.
- When reheating leftovers, heat them all through to kill bacteria that may have grown during storage.
- Use leftovers within three to four days for best quality and safety.
4. Use Caution with Candles
As Thanksgiving approaches, many families prepare by collecting favorite recipes, stocking their pantries, and dusting off the holiday decor. One decoration that adds a festive touch to the holiday table is candles. While candles create a warm and inviting atmosphere, use them carefully.
When choosing candles for your Thanksgiving feast, look for those made from beeswax or soy wax. These materials are less likely to release harmful chemicals into the air when burned. If you are using scented candles, purchase varieties infused with natural essential oils. Place candles in stable holders that will not tip over easily.
These simple tips can help ensure a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving for everyone.