Turkey? Check. Fixin’s? Check. Centerpiece? Check. Salmonella? Let’s keep that one off the menu.
On Thanksgiving, being the perfect host or hostess is not just about a beautiful table or delicious food. Above all, it’s about keeping your family and friends food safe, because you don’t want to be remembered as the one who sent their guests to the hospital during the holidays – or even worse.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there are up to 78 million reported cases of food borne illness and 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths related to these illnesses annually. Statistics show over 90% could have been avoided with proper food handling and leftovers improperly stored can create a breeding ground of bacteria.
Enjoy the holiday season healthy, happy and worry free with four important tips.
- Pick and clean smart: Select produce that isn’t bruised or cut and avoid cans that are dented. Once you’re ready to get started, wash your hands, contact surfaces and food thoroughly. Also, wash fresh foods thoroughly. Eat Cleaner® Food Wash and Wipes are lab proven to remove residue from fresh fruit, vegetables and poultry that water can’t.
- Don’t let fowl go foul: Poultry is the number one cause of Salmonella. Make sure to allow for 24 hours for each 4-5 pounds of turkey and defrost it in the refrigerator in a self contained tray to avoid cross contamination. Continue to clean hands and contact surfaces regularly every time you handle raw food. Use separate cutting boards for produce and meats. Not a meat eater? Tofurkey is a vegan feast that won’t make you feel left out on Thanksgiving.
- Cook it done: You can’t judge a bird by its color. Cook turkey to an internal temperature of at least 165 °F, measuring with a meat thermometer at the thickest point of the breast, without touching the bone. The CDN digital probe thermometer allows you to leave cook to the right temperature and be alerted with a remote when your turkey is ready. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.
- Chill out: Before the tryptophan kicks in, clear the table and store leftovers in air tight, BPA-free containers. Check your refrigerator temperature and make sure it’s under 40 °F to avoid bacteria growth. Then, it’s time to relax. Enjoy the fruits of your labor with your loved ones.
Download this handy Thanksgiving_Helper with planning and carving tips plus great recipes from our friends at Cutco Knives.