Thanksgiving is, without a doubt, my favorite holiday! I absolutely love cooking and enjoy getting the entire family involved. While it’s tons of fun it can also be somewhat hazardous. Here are some Safety Mom tips for making sure the feast is safe as well as delicious!
Use caution when deep frying a turkey — Deep frying turkeys has become extremely popular and for good reason — they’re delicious! But, the proceess can be extremely dangerous and you need to be sure you’re taking the proper precautions. Always deep fry outside on a level surface away from your house or other building. Never place a deep fryer on a wooden deck, in a garage or under an awning of any sort! It’s difficult to gauge the temperature of the oil and there is the potential that it will combust. Also, when you place the turkey in the fryer, a small amount of oil could spill out an hit the flame causing it to ignite.
Keep a fire extinguisher and first aid kit nearby – Whether you’re using a deep fryer or an oven there is always the chance of a fire, especially when you’re cooking several dishes and there are so many distractions. According to the National Fire Association, cooking mishaps are the number one cause for fires in the home. And, once a fire does start, you have only about two minutes before your kitchen is at risk for flashover, the point at which surrounding surfaces and objects reach their ignition temperature and erupt into flames. Keep pot holders and kitchen towels away from the flame and turn off burners if you need to walk away from the stove. Check that your fire extinguisher is multi-purpose and can handle combustible material, flammable liquid, and electrical fires. Unfortunately you can’t practice with a fire extinguisher as you can only use it once so be sure to read the instructions on the side before you actually need it!
Beware of food-borne illness – The turkey is undoubtedly the focal point of the Thanksgiving meal and preparing it can be a bit stressful for some people. Be sure that if you’ve purchased a frozen turkey it’s completely thawed out. Never thaw a turkey on the counter, in a microwave or in water! It should be completely thawed for several days in the refridgerator and be sure that it’s completely thawed before cooking. Wash your hands thoroughly before taking the turkey out of the refridgerator and immediately discard all of the wrappings. Wash down all counter surfaces completely once you’ve dressed the turkey and gotten it into the oven and then be sure it’s cooked completely through.
Alison Rhodes is the founder of Safety Mom Enterprises and Safety Mom Solutions, the premier baby proofing and child safety company in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area. Alison is a family safety expert, TV personality and consultant.
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