Oswego County Health Department offers tips for Thanksgiving safety – Oswego County Today

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OSWEGO COUNTY – Thanksgiving is a time to gather with loved ones, celebrate the things we are grateful for and enjoy a delicious meal together. As families prepare their meals for the holiday, the Oswego County Health Department wants to remind residents of tips to ensure a safe Thanksgiving celebration.

“A large meal like Thanksgiving dinner poses food safety risks, so taking precautions when preparing your food should be a top priority,” said Vera Dunsmoor, Oswego County interim public health director. “Keep your loved ones safe by washing hands properly, sanitizing often, separating raw turkey from other ingredients, and cooking turkey to a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees. Food should also be refrigerated within two hours of eating to prevent bacteria.

The first step to safe food preparation is always hand washing. To wash your hands properly, first wet your hands with running clean water and apply soap. Work up a lather by rubbing your hands with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds or hum the “Happy Birthday” song twice from cover to cover. Wash your hands thoroughly in clean running water and dry your hands with a clean towel. It is especially important to wash hands properly after handling raw meat or poultry.

Follow these additional tips from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to ensure a food-safe meal this Thanksgiving:

  • prevent cross-contamination. Turkeys can be large and difficult to handle, which makes the risk of cross-contamination greater during Thanksgiving meal preparation. Turkey can contain Salmonella and Campylobacter, common germs that can cause foodborne illness. Keep raw meat and poultry separate from produce and cooked foods. Prepare foods that will not cook before handling raw meat and poultry.
  • Do not wash or dry raw turkey, as doing so can increase the chance of cross-contamination. USDA research found that one in four people who wash or rinse poultry contaminate other foods with germs from poultry.
  • If you handle your turkey in a sink, be sure to thoroughly clean and sanitize your sink and other surfaces afterward and before preparing any other Thanksgiving dishes.
  • To clean surfaces, wash them with soap and warm water to remove dirt and debris. Then use a commercial sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, chlorine bleach solution, or other household disinfectant. Bacteria found in poultry products can survive on counters and kitchen surfaces for up to 32 hours, so be sure to clean raw turkey after handling it.
  • Always use a food thermometer when cooking turkey, as there is no way to see, smell, or feel bacteria on poultry. To kill bacteria, the turkey must be thoroughly cooked to a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees. The turkey is safe to eat when it reaches that temperature in three places: the thickest part of the breast and the innermost part of the wing and thigh. If any of these spots do not register at 165 degrees, continue cooking until all three spots reach a safe internal temperature.
  • Follow the two hour rule. Food left out at room temperature is only safe for about two hours and becomes susceptible to bacteria if left out longer. Serve small portions of a large dish, keeping the rest in the oven or refrigerator. If reheating turkey, use a thermometer to make sure it reaches that safe 165-degree temperature. If food has been left out for more than two hours, it should be discarded.

Diane Oldenburg, associate public health educator for the Oswego County Health Department, said, “While Thanksgiving is an exciting time to gather with family and friends, practicing everyday health habits is important to help prevent foodborne and airborne illnesses. Remember.” “Washing hands thoroughly, cleaning frequently touched surfaces, covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and staying home when you are sick are all important steps to stay safe and healthy this holiday season.” There are ways.”

When it comes to cooking methods, fryers have become increasingly popular for preparing dinners. However, when it comes to turkey, fryers are not the safest option for preparing a Thanksgiving meal. Underwriters Laboratories Inc., and the National Fire Protection Association warn against the use of turkey fryers due to safety risks.

The units are vulnerable to tipping over and hot oil spillage, posing a risk of house fire. The sides, handles and lids of cooking utensils get dangerously hot, and can easily overheat with appliances that are not thermostatically controlled.

If you plan to use a fryer to prepare your turkey, follow these tips from the Empire State Safety Association for safe use:
Always use turkey fryers on flat, non-combustible surfaces. Keep the fryer a safe distance from all flammable materials. Also pay attention to the weather and never use the fryer when it is raining or snowing.
Never leave the fryer unattended. Children and pets should be kept a safe distance from the fryer during and after use, as the oil will be hot.

Do not overfill the fryer. Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and free of all excess water. Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts. Safety glasses are also strongly encouraged. Never use water to extinguish an oil fire. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the fryer.

For questions about food safety this Thanksgiving, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) to speak with a food safety expert or visit Ask.usda.gov Live chat from 10am to 10am. Monday to Friday at 6 p.m. If you need assistance on Thanksgiving Day, the Meat and Poultry Hotline is available from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can also visit FoodSafety.gov to learn more about how to safely select, thaw and prepare a turkey.

For more information about staying healthy this season, contact the Oswego County Health Department at 315-349-3547.

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