As a safety consultant, we make sure that our teams know about safety in all aspects of their life, not just the OSHA kind at work. Safety at home is just as important as safety at work. Below are some tips for Thanksgiving Safety, including a link to download a PDF copy to share with your own team.
- Keep your food preparation surfaces and utensils clean and sanitized to reduce the risk of salmonella. Keep your cutting boards separate: one for meats and one for cooked foods, vegetables and fruits. Sanitize cutting boards after each use.
- Thaw your frozen turkey safely in the refrigerator by allowing 3-4 days or approximately 1 day per every 5 pounds. Another way to safely thaw a frozen turkey is submerging it in cold water. Replace the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. This method takes approximately 30 minutes for each pound the turkey weighs. Once it’s thawed, make sure it’s cooked within 2 days of thawing. Small turkeys can be defrosted in the microwave, but they’ll need to be immediately cooked.
- If you cook your stuffing inside the turkey, stuff it just before roasting.
- Always use a meat thermometer to see if the turkey is completely cooked. The temperature needs to reach 165° F when inserted in the thickest area of the thigh.
- Refrigerate all leftovers within 2 hours after cooking. Leftovers should be eaten within 3-4 days. If you are going to freeze leftovers, do that right away.
Cooking and the Kitchen
- Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food, and be in the home when cooking your turkey – check on it frequently.
- Keep children 3 ft. away from a hot stove. Steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
- Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, pets, bags or other items.
- Be sure electric cords from a coffee makers, plate warmers, mixers and electric knives are not dangling off the counter that could easily be bumped, or come within easy reach of a child.
- Follow all instructions carefully when using a deep fryer and monitor closely! Do not use indoors, in garages or on decks and never leave it unattended.
- Never wear loose fitting clothing such as long open sleeves that can catch fire from a gas flame.
- Keep baking soda on hand to put out kitchen fires.
- Do not leave food cooking or the stove unsupervised.
- Keep a household fire extinguisher nearby.
- While your family enjoys a special meal, give your cat and dog a small feast of their own. Offer them made-for-pets chew bones. Or stuff their usual dinner—perhaps with a few added tidbits of turkey, vegetables (try sweet potato or green beans) and dribbles of gravy—inside a food puzzle toy. They’ll be happily occupied for awhile, working hard to extract their dinner from the toy.
- A few small boneless pieces of cooked turkey, a taste of mashed potato or even a lick of
pumpkin pie shouldn’t pose a problem. However, don’t allow your pets to overindulge, as they could wind up with a case of stomach upset, diarrhea or even worse — an inflammatory condition called pancreatitis.
- Never give your pets turkey bones.
- Do not give your pets stuffing since herbs, such as sage, even in small amounts can cause an upset stomach and
- Never give your pet raw bread dough. When a dog or cat ingests raw bread dough, the yeast continues to convert the sugars in the dough to carbon dioxide gas and alcohol. This can result in bloated drunken pets, which could become a
life-threatening emergency, requiring hospitalization.
- If you plan to bake Thanksgiving desserts, be sure your pets keep their noses out of the batter, especially if it includes raw eggs—they could contain salmonella bacteria that may lead to food poisoning.
Have a great and SAFE Thanksgiving holiday from all of us at iSi!