Thanksgiving food safety tips

Nov 19, 2012

Whether you deep fry the bird or stuff the turkey, cooking together for Thanksgiving is a family tradition. But that very tradition (cooking) is the #1 cause of accidents over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Here are the top five Thanksgiving injuries and tips to prevent them.

• Burns

 Avoid wearing lose clothes. A dangling sleeve can easily catch fire.
 Make ovens a “Kid Free Zone” 
 Keep pot handles toward the back burners to reduce risk of knocking pots over.

• Food Poisoning

 Wash hands thoroughly when handling uncooked meat and keep it separate from other food.
 Oven temperature when cooking a turkey should be no lower than 325 degrees and the turkey should be completely thawed before cooking. 
 A food thermometer must register a safe minimum temperature of 165 degrees inside the turkey.
 Best to cook stuffing outside the turkey in a casserole, but if you choose to stuff a turkey, make sure the stuffing also reaches a temp of 165 degrees.

• Cuts

 Stay totally focused when slicing food
 Don’t rush.  Give yourself plenty of time to carve slowly . 
 Give the carving duty to the most experienced carver. No first timers allowed!

• Sprains, strains and fractures – people tend to eat and then immediately head out for that annual game of football, overexerting themselves. They can develop chest pain and shortness of breath which leads them to seek medical care.

 Take a break after eating before you rush out to play sports
 Remember, this isn’t the NFL and you are out to have fun, not win the Heisman Trophy or impress relatives and friends.

• Heartburn – many people eat too much, too fast on Thanksgiving which can quickly cause heartburn, indigestion and create chest pain. This can feel like a heart attack which leads people to seek medical attention.

 Eat slowly
 Take breaks in between courses
 Keep antacids on hand

Information courtesy of Doctors Express.

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