On: November 22, 2017 In: family safety, Homeowner's Insurance, Liability

Cooking a turkey is kind of a big deal. Whether this is your first time or your 50th, read through these tips for thawing and cooking to reduce cross-contamination and potential food poisoning. You’ll also find tips for storing leftovers and minimizing choking hazards! Keep everyone safe this Thanksgiving while still enjoying the festivities.

Turkey Prep: How to Avoid Food Poisoning and Cross Contamination

The average turkey weighs about 12 to 15 pounds, and it takes about a day for every 4 to 5 pounds to defrost. Leave the turkey in the fridge for as long as it takes to thaw, and then cook immediately afterward.

The turkey will need to be at least 165° F before eating. Test the thigh, wing, and the deepest portion of the turkey breast with the thermometer before serving. You should be cooking the stuffing separately to reduce the chance of cross-contamination (bacteria from the turkey may soak into the stuffing.)

Finally, make sure you wash your hands often to avoid bacteria transfer and keep raw food and cooked food away from each other! When your guests have come and gone, remember that leftovers are usually best eaten within three days (or frozen.) Gravy should be boiled to avoid potential food poisoning, and all meat should be heated again to at least 165° F. 

Table Prep: How to Minimize the Risk of Choking

No one ever expects to choke. But between the big meal, the wine, and the conversation, it’s a real hazard over the holidays. If you have children, remind them to slow down while they eat (you may even want to remind a few of the adults at the meal too).

If someone is visibly choking, first try five sharp blows to the back, then if that doesn’t work perform the Heimlich maneuver. You don’t need to have undergone extensive medical training to put your arms around the person’s stomach, cup one hand over the fist of the other hand, and thrust upward into their sternum.

Stay cautious amidst the chaos with a little extra Thanksgiving safety this year. Here at Southern Oak Insurance, we know an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We hope your holidays are as fun and memorable as they should be, and if you have any questions regarding coverage you can count on all through the holidays and the new year too then give us a call today!