Kitchen and Food Safety Tips for Thanksgiving

An American tradition for hundreds of years, Thanksgiving is the time to get together with family and loved ones who may live long distances from each other. Every family has different traditions during this special holiday. Some families will watch football together, some might volunteer together, or even take advantage of time off from work to go on a trip together. Regardless of how you decide to spend the holiday, keeping the kitchen area safe during preparations for Thanksgiving dinner is paramount to make the most of spending time with family and friends.

Prepare and protect yourself for the special day with these 10 kitchen safety tips:

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1. Be Careful with Water

Make sure to keep electrical appliances away from water, as water and electricity are a deadly duo. Also, make it a priority to keep your hands dry while using electrical equipment in the kitchen, to avoid accidents such as burns and shocks.

2. Keep Your Ingredients Separate

Keeping meat, seafood, and eggs well separated from other foods in the kitchen is very important. Perhaps you can place each in separate plastic bags to avoid having their liquid spill on other ingredients. That way, the bacteria in things like meats, won’t contaminate other foods such as vegetables or fruits.

3. Use a Thermometer

No matter what your family’s traditions are during the holidays, the truth of the matter is that the Thanksgiving turkey is one of the main attractions. It's easy to get carried away by the plastic pop-up timers that already come with the turkey. But opting for a food thermometer is ideal to get rid of any doubts on whether the turkey is fully cooked or not. Simply insert the thermometer into the bird’s thigh and chest, and make sure that it reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Refer to this site to see the recommended temperatures for other meats, seafood, eggs, and leftovers.

4. Be Prepared with Baking Soda

Your kitchen’s safety also depends on how prepared you are for possible fires. If dealing with a grease fire, remember not to pour water on it, and instead use baking soda to put out the flames. If the flames are too large and intense, your next option would be to use a fire extinguisher.

5. Watch the Kids

Kids have curious minds, and during the holidays, kitchen safety is at risk with all the distractions going on in the house. Taking care of small details, such as keeping knives out of reach, storing treats away from the stove, and keeping matches and lighters locked and hidden, helps minimize the chances of having the little ones in danger.

6. Sharpen Your Knives

Did you know that dull knife is far more dangerous than sharp ones? This is because dull knives require more movement and forced to cut food, which could lead to an unwanted cut. On the other hand, it’s only a matter of time until an accident occurs if you disregard the importance of paying attention to the dullness of your kitchen knives.

7. Don’t Disconnect the Smoke Detector

Cooking is the number one cause of house fires. Yet, to not have to worry about the unpleasant noise from the smoke detector while in the midst of cooking, it’s common for some to simply disable the smoke alarm beforehand. As tempting as that may be, the fact that 3 out of 5 deaths from home fires are due to not having a working smoke detector is alarming and should make some think twice before disconnecting the alarm.

8. Use a Timer

A timer can immensely benefit you and help improve kitchen safety during the holidays. Simply use it to keep track of how long you have things in the oven, and to prevent you from forgetting that you actually have food on the stove or oven.

9. Have a Lid Within Reach

Another way to prevent a fire is to always have a lid within reach while cooking. In the event of a fire, just slide the lid over the pan and proceed to turn off the stove. It’s important to let the pan cool down, and to leave the lid on for a little bit, to prevent the fire from starting again.

10. Don’t Rush!

Unless you're a professional cook, hurrying to get everything done in the kitchen is a recipe for disaster. For instance, remember to take your time when moving pots and pans, and cut food patiently without rushing.

Thanksgiving time is time to catch up with loved ones and to really spend quality time with the family. Infinity Insurance understands that, and for that reason, it’s very important to have a reliable team at your service, to help protect your home. Call an Infinity agent at 1-800-INFINITY or get an online quote today.

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