Happy Thanksgiving! Now make sure your day stays happy. Don’t fall prey to any of these food safety fails:
1. Defrosting dilemmas. There are only three safe ways to thaw your turkey – in cold water, in the refrigerator and in the microwave. Never thaw on the kitchen counter! Download the turkey tip sheet for a quick guide on thawing.
2. Undercooking the turkey. Turkey must reach an internal temperature of 165°F to ensure it is safe to eat. Use a food thermometer and insert it in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest area, avoiding bone, fat or gristle. Whether cooking the stuffing inside of the turkey or separately, it also must reach 165°F.
3. Abandoning the buffet. Many holiday meals are served buffet or potluck-style. This is a fun alternative to the traditional sit-down dinner, but make sure your buffet is refreshed frequently. Food cannot sit out for more than two hours.
4. Entering the danger zone. Food needs to stay out of the temperature danger zone. This is the range between 40°F and 140°F where harmful bacteria thrive. Keep hot foods hot with a chaffing dish or slow cooker and cold foods cold.
5. Being lax with leftovers. Leftovers must be refrigerated promptly and properly. Store leftovers in shallow containers within two hours. Before eating, reheat to 165°F (use a food thermometer). Enjoy leftovers within three to four days.
More holiday resources available HERE.