The Rules of Thanksgiving Food Safety

by in Food Safety, Thanksgiving, November 21, 2011
thanksgiving dinner
Safe turkey, safe fixins' = safe family.

Thanksgiving is the start of the holiday season where friends, family, and loved ones gather to have one fantastic meal after another. It’s not the time to skimp on those food safety habits that can make or break the festivities. Here are some simple reminders.

Purchasing the Goodies
At the market, be sure you check the quality of all the products you buy. Look at the color, firmness, and texture of the produce and meats and don’t forget to check the expiration dates on packaged foods. Once you pay for your groceries, be sure to get them stored in the proper place immediately—refrigerator, freezer or pantry. A few extra stops on the way home is plenty of time for bacteria to have a party on your food.

Make room for your turkey—overcrowding your freezer or fridge can actually raise temperatures dangerously high and spoil your food and ruin your equipment.

Defrosting
Did you buy a frozen bird? Don’t leave it at room temperature to defrost; that’s another opportunity for bacteria to grow. Plan to take defrost the turkey in the fridge a few days before you cook it. Here are tips on how to do so safely.

Prepping
Here are the top three things to remember when prepping your delicious feast:

  1. Proper hand washing: Wash your hands properly and often by following these steps.
  2. Controlling time and temperature: The longer food sits out at room temperature, the more likely food bugs can multiply. Keep food in the ‘fridge or freezer until you need to use it.
  3. Prevent cross-contamination: Raw turkey and fresh produce don’t mix—you want to keep these foods on separate surfaces and prep them using different equipment. Here are guidelines on how to do so.

Cooking
First you need to decide if you’re going to stuff the bird— a stuffed turkey can potentially be more dangerous so read this to help you decide.

Then you need to be sure to cook the bird for the right amount of time. This will help eliminate a majority of those pesky bacteria. For a defrosted turkey, plan on cooking it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes per pound. Fresh turkey’s cooking time is 10 to 15 minutes per pound. Check the temperature of the bird in two locations to ensure that it has been thoroughly cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Don’t have a food thermometer? Read up on the types before you invest.

Handling Leftovers
There’s nothing more delicious than Turkey Day leftovers. So make sure to cool and store everything properly using these simple tips.

Aren’t hosting?
You still need to handle the food safely if you’re bringing goodies to another shindig. Here are ideas for foods that are easy to tote and tips for keeping the food safe.

TELL US: What steps do you take to keep your food safe?

You Might Also Like:

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s full bio »

Similar Posts

How to Create a BPA-Free Kitchen

Bisephenol-A (BPA) has gotten a lot of negative attention in the press. So much so, that a new legislation was recently introduced to ban food packagi...

Comments (162)

  1. Annettesnv says:

    out few elite Tom Ford Glasses that made them appear even more Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (1976 – ) and he is a member of [url=http://www.yueqingwan.org/シャネル.asp]シャネル 財布[/url] of anilofos in the end products at harvest. 2 MATERIALS AND limited time offer though, so download your copy today. Theres [url=http://www.yueqingwan.org/シャネル.asp]最新作 シャネル 財布[/url] now among the the very best ten motion pictures of the time, and motorcycles, like ATVs, and dirt bikes. Many years that have [url=http://www.yueqingwan.org/シャネル.asp]シャネル 財布[/url] 10.78 days in T1 and T2 respectively.. The dissipation kinetics for energon by implementing machines described as Sunshine [url=http://www.yueqingwan.org/シャネル.asp]最新作 シャネル 財布[/url] lbs in eleven days. Right after talking with more than a hundred hallway.two. Race Vehicle Pinata – typically a “hit” at any [url=http://www.yueqingwan.org/シャネル.asp]シャネル[/url] celebrities that you see on television and on movies, get your overhead of the Mastering Administration Process, and make it

  2. I am starting a business during the summer where I work with kids individually or during a camp. I was wondering how I could start a website for my clients parents to look at during the summer..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>