11/17/2022 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/17/2022 12:13
Published on November 17, 2022
DDPHE offer tips to protect yourself, your guests, and your pets over the holiday
The Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) offers up important advice to keep your friends and family, including those furry, four-legged members, safe this Thanksgiving Day.
The turkey is often the star of your Thanksgiving dinner, so make sure it gets a round of applause and not a round of food poisoning.
There are three safe ways to defrost a turkey:
Wash your hands with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds, before and after handling food.
Keep all surfaces and utensils clean.
Never handle cooked and raw food together, to avoid cross-contamination.
Prepare food in separate areas. Keep raw meat away from vegetables or other uncooked food.
Don't wash the turkey. That spreads potential bacteria and can cause cross-contamination. Besides, cooking it to the right temperature (165 degrees) kills any bacteria.
Cook your bird to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Use a thermometer to test on the innermost part of the thigh and wing-as well, as the thickest part of the breast to ensure it's well-cooked.
It's better to be safe than sorry. You can call the pros at 1-888-674-6854 (USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline) with any cooking questions. The hotline is open Thanksgiving Day from 6:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Mountain Standard Time (MST).
Refrigerate leftovers quickly, no more than two hours after food has been served. Store food in shallow containers to allow more surface area to increase cooling.
Keep hot food at 140 degrees or above. Keep cold foods at 40 degrees or below. Never let foods sit in the bacteria danger zone (40-140 degrees) for more than two hours.
Turkey leftovers are good in the refrigerator for up to four days. Casseroles and mashed potatoes can go up to five days. After that, put leftovers in the freezer, where they'll last indefinitely. But for best quality, eat within four months.
We also want to share safety information for the furry members of your family. You may be tempted to share with them the delightful deluge of holiday foods, but Denver Animal Protection (DAP) says that could lead to your pet's discomfort and an emergency visit to the vet.
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to reconnect with family and friends. But if something does go wrong, make sure you're prepared. Before the festivities begin, locate an urgent care or emergency veterinarian that'll be open Thanksgiving Day. When minutes count, tracking down help can seem overwhelming.
For these safety tips and others, DDPHE food safety or animal protection staff members will be available for interviews. (This may also help you fill your newscasts and websites over the long holiday.) Contact us at [email protected] to request and schedule interviews.
Happy Thanksgiving to our caring community!