Plan for a Food-Safe Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is less than a week from now! If you are hosting thanksgiving this year, hopefully you’re getting ready to serve  a fun, stress-free, safe dinner for your friends or family to enjoy. Whether you’ve done it for the last 10 years or this is your very first Thanksgiving, here are some things to remember to keep everyone safe.

  1. Got a turkey question? Help is just a call away from the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline. Just dial 1-888-674-6854.
  2. Wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap before handling food and after you are done handling raw meat (or any time you switch between preparing meat and something else).
  3. If you already have your turkey, make sure you keep it in the freezer. Defrost it properly in your fridge, in water or in the microwave. You’ll need a day to thaw every 4-5 lbs. of meat if you use your fridge.
  4. Cook immediately after thawing. Avoid stuffing the turkey to prevent possible foodborne illnesses.
  5. Your turkey should be cooked to 165 degrees at least. Make sure that you use the thickest part of the breast to find the temperature. It’s also good to use the thermometer on the thigh and wing.
  6. Rest your turkey for at least 20 minutes before carving.
  7. Does all this seem like too much? You can also opt for a turkey breast which is easier to cook.
  8. If you’re cooking many dishes, make sure you keep hot foods hot and cool foods cool until they are ready to be served.

No one wants to get sick on Thanksgiving, and you don’t want to be the cause of someone’s food poisoning. It’s a lot of pressure, especially if you’re cooking a big dinner for many people. Follow these guidelines to be food safe. Also brush up on the Heimlich maneuver just in case there is a choking incident.

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