Thanksgiving Safety Tips
The provincial government has offered up some safety tips for Thanksgiving.
There will likely be fewer people at your table this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. The Department of Health and Community Services encourages everyone to not only follow Public Health pandemic guidelines but to also keep food safety top-of-mind when preparing family dinners.
Cook poultry to recommended internal temperatures of 82°C (180°F) for whole birds and 74°C (165°F) for pieces. Checking with a thermometer is the only way to ensure that food is completely cooked, and that any harmful bacteria contained in the food has been killed.
However, this precaution does not help control bacteria that could have spread to your refrigerator, countertops or utensils, while the food was being stored or prepared.
When preparing poultry, bacteria can spread to other foods, surfaces or people.
Follow these simple rules to avoid getting sick:
Never rinse poultry before cooking it because the bacteria can spread wherever the water splashes
Always wash your hands before and after you touch raw poultry:
Wash with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
Use an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available
Use a separate plate, cutting board and tools during preparation
Clean everything with a kitchen cleaner or bleach solution and then rinse with water:
Kitchen cleaner (follow the instructions on the container)
Bleach solution (five ml household bleach to 750 ml of water)
Before and after preparing poultry, clean your:
Wipe kitchen surfaces with paper towels or change dishcloths daily to avoid cross-contamination:
Don’t use sponges as they are harder to keep bacteria-free
Keep cold food cold and hot food hot. Try to keep your food out of the temperature danger zone, which is between 4°C (40°F) and 60°C (140°F). At these temperatures, bacteria can grow quickly and make you sick.