While you’re making Thanksgiving plans, make sure you make plans for a safe holiday, too. Thanksgiving guests, food, and preparations can mean a risk of fire, accidents, and food-borne illness. Here’s how to keep everyone safe:
1) Prepare before Thanksgiving.
Plan your holiday menu before Thanksgiving so you understand how long you need to cook foods so they’re safe. In addition, you need to do three things before the big day to make sure your food preparation area is safe:
- Test your smoke detectors
- Buy a fire extinguisher or check your current kitchen extinguisher
- Buy a meat thermometer or make sure the one you have is in good condition
2) Decorate safely.
Avoid placing decorations in the kitchen, and especially be cautious about placing flammable decorations near the stove or oven. Do not use candles unless you can supervise closely.
3) Stay where food is cooking.
Never leave food cooking on your stovetop unattended. When you have a turkey cooking in your oven, stay in the house and check often. Declare the kitchen a “kids free” and “pet free” zone and keep children and pets out until all the food is cooked and the oven has cooled down. It’s a simple way to prevent burns in your Hollywood home.
4) Clean as you go.
Avoid cross-contamination by immediately cleaning your hands and all surfaces that come into contact with raw meat with hot water and soap. Clean up any spills promptly and remove any obstacles or spills on the floor at once; in a busy kitchen, they can easily become slip and fall hazards.
5) Read and follow labels.
Check the labels on your food to check best-before dates and thawing instructions. When cooking turkey, use a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches temperatures above 165°F both for the stuffing and the turkey itself.
6) Keep foods out of the “danger zone.”
According to the CDC, the temperature range between 40 and 140°F is where bacteria can most easily thrive. Keep your food out of this range by serving it hot and by storing leftovers promptly as they cook down. Don’t let food sit around.
7) Be careful with food items and leftovers.
Food may not smell spoiled but can still cause illness. When preparing your holiday meal, always check the best before dates and the state of the food. If food smells or looks as though it may be spoiled, err on the side of caution and don’t use it; it may still be unsafe to eat if it was stored incorrectly. If you have leftovers, store them in the fridge and reheat them properly before eating. Freeze leftovers if you plan on keeping them longer than a few days.
If you suffer an injury and feel that you may have a legal claim, contact Flaxman Law Group. Our legal team is always standing by to offer legal support and advice.