With all of the H1N1 illness out there, our family does not need to be exposed to a foodborne illness. The U.S. Departmentof Agriculture estimates that 80% of foodborne illnesses are linked to meat and poultry. This means, that it is mandatory, for you to properly handle all meats and poultry during this Thanksgiving season.
NSF International (www.nsf.org), a not-for-profit, public health and safety organization has been providing inspections, as well as certification services to the food industry for more than 65 years. So, what does this mean to you and I? Use their advice- The following tips will help keep your family out of that 80% category of people with foodborne illnesses over the Thanksgiving holidays.
- Don't let uncooked turkey sit at room temperature. Shop for a turkey last and get it home as soon as possible. Refrigerate promptly, and bag the turkey separately. You will also want to place the bag below all other food in your refrigerator. Should that turkey start to thaw, you will not want that raw turkey juice on your food.
- Thawing a turkey out can be one of the most challenging times of the season. Allow plenty of time for the turkey to thaw. You have three options here. Option 1: Place a covered turkey in a shallow pan on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator Option 2: Place the plastic-wrapped turkey in a pan of cold water, changing the water about every 30 minutes. Option 3: Completely submerge the turkey under a stream of lukewarm (70 degree F) running water.
- Wash your hands thoroughly while handling any raw meat, especially turkey. Use lots of warm water and soap
- Never place the turkey directly on the counter; keep in on a platter, plate, or roaster. Clean and sanitize the counter, as well as utensils after handling a raw turkey.
- Always use a thermometer to check for doneness, even if the turkey has a pop-up timer. The magic number is 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the thigh away from the bone. If the thermometer registers the magic number, voila~ Your turkey is done!
- Refrigerate any leftovers immediately. Never use a large container for your leftovers. Separate the large portions into smaller portions, and cover the container loosely while cooling.
Do not let all of these safety precautions scare you out of tackling that turkey for your Thanksgiving meal. Preparing a turkey should be easy, just be sure to use some common sense. Your family, as well as your kids, will thank you! Anytime Mom can go the extra mile in the kitchen, especially when it comes to safety, everyone is very appreciative. And that is what Thanksgiving is about, being Thankful! After all, it's all in a Mom's Day, Right?
The information for this article is from www.nsf.org- and my opinions stated in this article, are just that, my opinions, and nobody elses. I did not receive any compensation for this blog post.