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

Got Leftovers? Try These Creative Day-After-Thanksgiving Recipes

Rather than zapping Thanksgiving leftovers in the microwave, make scrumptiously creative day-after recipes instead....

Comments (162)

  1. Thorn of Girl…

    Excellent information and facts may be uncovered on this world wide web blogging site….

  2. Awesome website…

    […]the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the[…]……

  3. Sources…

    […]check below, are some totally unrelated websites to ours, however, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[…]……

  4. Informative Article…

    I loved this extraordinary blog. Much appreciated yet again. Cool….

  5. Thank you!…

    Spot on with this write-up, I actually assume this web site needs much more consideration. I’ll probably be once more to learn far more, thanks for that info….

  6. […]The information talked about within the article are a number of the top obtainable […]…

  7. […]just beneath, are a lot of totally not associated sites to ours, however, they may be surely really worth going over[…]…

  8. Gems form the internet…

    […]very few websites that happen to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well worth checking out[…]……

  9. body shaper says:

    Thank you!…

    Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to check out your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the knowledge you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m shocked at how quick your blog loaded …

  10. Woman of Alien…

    Excellent operate you may have carried out, this site is absolutely neat with wonderful data. Time is God’s means of holding all the things from happening without delay….

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>