You’ve got the turkey thawing in the refrigerator and you know what to do with all of the side dishes. But Thanksgiving dinner safety tips are just as important as preparing the holiday meal itself, so if you want your family to enjoy their feast without worrying about foodborne illness, there are a few things you need to know before you start cooking. This guide covers five Thanksgiving dinner safety tips that will make your celebration perfect while keeping everyone healthy and safe.
1. Check Your Turkey’s Temp
When using a digital thermometer, insert the probe into the thickest part of your breast or thigh. The thermometer should be inserted horizontally with the metal probe parallel to the ground. Make sure you insert the meat or candy thermometer at an angle if you don’t have a digital thermometer.
The turkey should be cooked until it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit on both sides.
2. Don’t Wash Your Turkey
Whether you’re cooking your first turkey or are a seasoned veteran of the dinner table, there’s a lot to know about how to keep your whole bird safe and delicious. Here are five things you should know about thanksgiving dinner safety tips.
- Don’t wash your turkey before cooking it.
- Use an instant-read thermometer when checking if it’s done.
3. Stuff the turkey right before cooking
It’s easy to forget about the turkey until a few hours before dinner. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Follow these five Thanksgiving dinner safety tips and never worry about your bird again:
- Stuff the turkey just before cooking it
- Get a food thermometer and check the temperature of the turkey’s breast meat
- Baste with butter or oil while cooking (it’ll keep the skin moist and flavorful) 4) Cover loosely with foil while baking (this will keep in moisture without steaming it) 5) Don’t forget an oven bag! These high-heat sealable oven bags are great for keeping flavour and moisture while reducing the risk of burning or drying out the outside of your turkey.
4. Make sure your side dishes are cooked thoroughly
Dinner safety is important during the holiday season and year-round. Keep your guests safe by following these five dinner safety tips.
- Make sure your side dishes are cooked thoroughly. The holiday season brings with it many delicious, hearty dishes that are often served as appetizers or side dishes. It’s important to cook them properly to ensure they’re not contaminated with bacteria like salmonella and E coli. Use a food thermometer when cooking your side dishes and make sure they reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit before you serve them up!
- Avoid cross-contamination of raw foods and cooked foods by using separate cutting boards for each type of dish you’re preparing, or try using an antibacterial kitchen spray between handling the two types of food.
5. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold
You may have a long list of dishes for Thanksgiving dinner, but it’s important to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold as part of your Thanksgiving cooking safety tips. Generally, hot foods should be kept at 140 degrees or higher and cold foods should be 40 degrees or lower. The average stove top temperature is between 150-200 degrees Fahrenheit; the internal temperature of Thanksgiving turkey breast meat ranges from 165-185 degrees Fahrenheit; the internal temperature of oven-roasted turkey breast meat ranges from 160-180 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure that you are using this information in conjunction with specific temperatures for individual food items when developing your Thanksgiving cooking safety tips.