Since Thanksgiving is right around the corner, here are a few food preparation tips . . . .
Food Safety Tips for Thanksgiving
Enjoy your favorite Thanksgiving foods safely by following safe food handling and cooking practices.
•Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before preparing food, after handling any raw poultry or meat and before eating.
•Keep your food preparation surfaces and utensils clean and sanitized to reduce the risk of salmonella poisoning.
•Use separate cutting boards – one for meat, poultry and fish and one for cooked foods, vegetables and fruits. Sanitize the cutting board after each use.
•Wash all vegetables and fruits before you prepare them.
•Thaw a frozen turkey safely in the refrigerator allowing 3-4 days for thawing or approximately one day for every five 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. The Food Safety website provides a useful turkey thawing chart and a turkey roasting chart.
•Refrigerate a thawed, or fresh, turkey for no longer than two days before cooking.
•Immediately cook a small turkey that is defrosted in the microwave.
•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 180 degrees Fahrenheit when inserted in the thickest area of the thigh.
•Refrigerate all leftovers within two hours after cooking.
•Leftovers should be eaten within three or four days. If you are going to freeze leftovers, do that right away, not after they have been refrigerated for several days.
by Kristina Hagan LMPD
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