Kitchen and Cooking Safety Tips for a Joyous Thanksgiving - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Nov 21, 2019

Kitchen and Cooking Safety Tips for a Joyous Thanksgiving

For many, the promise of food and quality time spent with family makes Thanksgiving a much-anticipated holiday. But if you’ve ever hosted Thanksgiving dinner, you also know that it means spending a lot of extra time in the kitchen getting everything put together for your guests. If you’re hosting Turkey day in your home this year, use the following tips to stay safe in the kitchen and make the most of your holiday together.

Keep fire risks to a minimum

  • Opt out of the deep-fried turkey. Deep-frying has become an increasingly popular way to prepare turkey. If not properly thawed, dropping a cold turkey into a vat of boiling oil can cause flames to erupt and put both your property and life at risk. While the promise of crispy skin is appealing, opt for the more traditional oven prep method to keep you and your family safe.
  • Stay in the kitchen. If you’re hosting, you’re probably running around doing a million different things to get your home ready before your guests arrive. While it’s tempting to go set the table while waiting for your potatoes to boil on the stove, doing so increases your chance of fire. In fact, the U.S. Fire Administration claims that unattended cooking is the most common cause of cooking fires. It’s important to always keep your eye on the stove when in use; the place settings can wait!
  • Opt for flameless fragrance solutions. Candles are a common fall decor feature. But with everyone occupied with cooking and catching up, and the possibility of young children at play, it’s safer to swap your candles with flameless solutions. Try a diffuser instead!
  • Test your smoke alarms. It’s important to make sure your alarms are in working order before you get cooking. Similarly, keep a fire extinguisher close at hand.

Prep food mindfully

  • Be wary of cross-contamination. Raw poultry is a host for bacteria and can contaminate other foods that it comes in contact with. For this reason, it’s important to keep your foods separate. Be sure that you don’t prep your vegetables on the same cutting board or countertop where you were just handling your raw bird. Always wash your hands after handling food, especially raw meat.
  • Keep foods at a safe temperature. It’s important to keep hot foods hot (above 140 degrees Fahrenheit) and cold foods cold (below 40 degrees Fahrenheit). This is because bacteria thrive between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep all vegetables, eggs and raw meat safely stored in the refrigerator prior to cooking and consider using warming trays when serving up your hot dishes.
  • Cut slowly. Always work slowly and carefully when handling sharp knives and other hazardous kitchen tools.

Keep children safe

  • Watch your appliance cords. Make sure cords from appliances such as the coffee pot, blender or toaster are tucked away and out of reach.
  • Never leave children alone in the kitchen. This is especially true if you’re using the stove. Small hands might accidentally reach up and touch the hot burner.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of reach. Consider placing these items high up, in a closed cabinet.
  • Help them during dinner. Assist young children at the dinner table by cutting their food for them. Cut servings into small, easy-to-chew bites to reduce the risk of choking.

Following these tips will help keep your mind at ease; knowing that you, your family and home will stay safe this holiday. Use this peace of mind to make the most of your Thanksgiving, cherishing your time spent with loved ones and a round of delicious food.

Get organized before your guests arrive! Download the grocery shopping list template below to make your trip to the market as stress-free as possible.