As November draws to a close, people across the country are preparing for Thanksgiving celebrations. Whether you prepare a huge feast or just a small dinner for two, Danville Life Saving Crew encourages you to take safety precautions to prevent food poisoning, burns and structure fires. Follow the tips below to have a safe and healthy holiday.
Prevent Food Poisoning
To prevent food poisoning and other food-borne illnesses, separate raw meat from fresh food. Wash all plates, utensils and counter tops, that come in contact with raw meat, with soap and warm water. Turkey is not safe to eat until it reaches 165° F. To test, put a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the breast, innermost part of the wing and innermost part of the thigh. Afterwards, refrigerate leftovers within two hours. You can eat leftovers within three to four days, or freeze for several months. After four days, throw away all leftovers in the refrigerator.
Be sure to keep children and pets at least three feet away from the stove and areas where hot food is being prepared. When cooking, always use pot holders or oven mitts to handle hot pots and pans. If frying a turkey, always set up the turkey fryer outside and at least ten feet away from your home. Place the fryer on flat ground without filling oil to the top. When turkey is placed in the fryer, this will prevent hot oil from splashing over the edges.
Prevent Structure Fires
Change the batteries in your smoke alarm or purchase a new one to place in your kitchen. Be sure to always have a fire extinguisher on hand and know how to use it. If a structure fire does occur, call 9-1-1 immediately. Never leave cooking equipment unattended and immediately turn it off when done (stove tops, ovens, fryers, etc.). Also, never leave paper, plastic or fabric around burners or hot surfaces.