By Chloé Rada, Senior Marketing Manager - Talent Acquisition
While I am all for getting the most of the holiday season, I always shake my head when I see neighbors break out their Frosty the Snowman and other holiday decorations too early in November. Not to mention those who become consumed with Black Friday deals, which is the antithesis of being thankful for what we have.
My friend Alicia's son claimed that those folks are “skippers” and started the hashtag #DontBeaSkipper. I agree with him that Thanksgiving is too important to skip.
It’s a time to be thankful for all the great things in our life and for the people who influenced our career and personal life; something we often forget to do the other 364 days of the year.
Let's not forget the joy of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the time spent with family and friends and the bounty that is ours throughout the year.
Food and cooking are a big part of any holiday celebrations, so putting food safety practices in focus will help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Basic principles like cleaning and sanitizing, and cooking to proper temperatures should also not be skipped!
Here are some simple tips to expand your food safety knowledge base suggested by the National Restaurant Association* and the Sodexo Quality Assurance & Food Safety team to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience:
1. Thaw your turkey in the fridge. While you can thaw a frozen turkey under running water or in the microwave, the best way is in the refrigerator. The general rule of thumb is to allow one day of thawing in the refrigerator for every 4 lbs. of turkey.
2. Store raw turkey away from ready-to-eat food. Make sure your raw turkey is covered and stored in a leak-proof container on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. You want to keep it away from foods that are ready to eat, such as desserts and salads, to avoid the risk of cross-contamination.
3. Clean and sanitize your sink and counters. After rinsing your raw turkey thoroughly, properly clean and sanitize the sink and surrounding area before starting to prepare any other food.
4. Cook your turkey to safe internal temperature. Use a properly calibrated meat thermometer to check that your turkey has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Insert the thermometer to the dimple on the stem in the thickest part of the breast and thigh for accurate readings.
5. Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot. Prep salads, cranberries and other colds items first and store them in the fridge until ready to serve. Then prep your hot dishes closer to serving time so they stay hot. Keep all food items outside the “temperature danger zone” (41 to 135 degrees) as much as possible.
6. Safely reheat leftovers. Whether from a meal prepared at home or picked up from a restaurant, leftovers are part of the holiday tradition. Store each dish separately in clean, seal-able, leak-proof containers and reheat to 165 degrees when you’re ready to enjoy round two of your Thanksgiving meal.
Join me this week and encourage others to #DontBeaSkipper of this Thanksgiving holiday.
Have a food safety tip to add? Leave it in the comments!