How to Prevent Food Poisoning and Cooking Fires on Thanksgiving – NBC 7 San Diego
As millions of Americans prepare for Thanksgiving (and delicious leftovers), the Consumer Product Safety Commission wants people to keep safety in mind — and keep an eye on the bird!
According to the CPSC, an average of 1,600 cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving Day each year, about three times the number of daily cooking fires throughout the year.
Since 2000, turkey fryers have also caused more than 200 burns, which in turn resulted in more than 80 people being injured and about $9.5 million in property lost, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said.
The committee said in a statement: “Many injuries and deaths associated with celebrating the holidays are preventable, so we urge consumers to apply safety measures while purchasing toys for children, cooking a holiday feast, or decorating your home.”
So, before the holidays arrive, here are some tips and recommendations for staying safe this Thanksgiving:
Thanksgiving cooking tips
- Never leave cooking food unattended on the stove or in the oven.
- Only fry your turkey outside and away from your home. Never use turkey fryers in the garage or on the porch.
- Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children.
- Make sure your smoke alarms are working.
“Watch the bird, because unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires,” said Elliot F. Kaye, former CPSC president. “Don’t let your time with family and friends during the holidays be ruined by a 911 call.”
In case of fire in the oven
If a fire breaks out in your furnace, FEMA recommends the following:
- Turn off the oven and keep the door closed until it cools.
- Move items that can burn away from the stove, including dishtowels, bags, boxes, paper, and curtains.
- Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so no one can bump or pull them.
Food poisoning on Thanksgiving:
Food poisoning can be another risk while on vacation.
According to the CDC, if not stored properly, turkey and its juice can become contaminated with germs that can make you and your family sick.
To prevent serious illness during dinner, the CDC recommends the following:
- If the turkey is raw, it should be stored in the freezer at 0°F or below until you are ready to thaw it.
- When ready to thaw, keep the turkey in its original packaging and place it in a container before thawing for about 24 hours per 4 or 5 pounds of turkey.
- Thaw the turkey in cold water and change it every 30 minutes.
How to pFix and cook your turkey safely
The CDC recommends washing your hands before handling a turkey. Once ready to prepare, use a cutting board for raw turkey and a separate board for cutting produce, bread, and other foods that won’t be cooked.
You should also wash cutting boards, utensils, dishes, and countertops with hot, soapy water after preparing a raw turkey and before preparing the next item.
When it comes to cooking your turkey, the CDC recommends:
- When cooking a turkey in the oven, set the temperature to at least 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the fully thawed turkey in a roasting pan 2 to 2-1/2 inches deep.
- Cooking times depend on the weight of the turkey and whether it is stuffed or not.
For filling, the CDC recommends:
- Cook it in a casserole dish rather than inside the turkey, so it’s easier to make sure the stuffing is cooked well.
- Use a food thermometer to make sure the center of the filling reaches 165°F.
- If you cook the stuffing inside the turkey, wait 20 minutes after removing the bird from the oven to allow the stuffing to cook a little longer.
Keep leftovers fresh
To prevent food poisoning from leftover food, here’s what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends:
- Refrigerate leftovers at 40°F or colder within 2 hours of cooking to prevent food poisoning.
- Refrigerate leftovers that have been exposed to temperatures above 90 degrees F, such as in a hot car, within one hour.
- If you are refrigerating a large piece of meat, such as a turkey or roast, cut it into smaller pieces so it cools quickly. No need to wait for food to cool to store it in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Eat cooked turkey and dishes made from it, such as soup or casserole, within 3 to 4 days.
- Freeze leftovers for longer storage.
- Reheat all leftovers to at least 165°F before serving or eating.
(Tags for translation) Thanksgiving