Safety Tips


Safe Thanksgiving Tips From the CDC


It's Turkey Time: Safely Prepare Your Holiday Meal

Holidays are times we share the kitchen with family and friends. Make it a goal this year to also share good food safety practices. CDC is a partner with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), which is responsible for the safety of meat and poultry. Here are simple tips that all cooks in the kitchen can follow this holiday season for cooking a delicious and safely prepared turkey.

Turkey Basics: Safely Thaw, Prepare, Stuff, and Cook

When preparing a turkey, be aware of the four main safety issues: thawing, preparing, stuffing, and cooking to the adequate temperature.

Safe Thawing
Thawing turkeys must be kept at a safe temperature. The "danger zone" is between 40 and 140°F — the temperature range where foodborne bacteria multiply rapidly. While frozen, a turkey is safe indefinitely, but as soon as it begins to thaw, bacteria that may have been present before freezing can begin to grow again, if it is in the "danger zone."

There are three safe ways to thaw food: in the refrigerator, in cold water, and in a microwave oven. For instructions, see Safe Methods for Thawing

Safe Preparation
Bacteria present on raw poultry can contaminate your hands, utensils, and work surfaces as you prepare the turkey. If these areas are not cleaned thoroughly before working with other foods, bacteria from the raw poultry can then be transferred to other foods. After working with raw poultry, always wash your hands, utensils, and work surfaces before they touch other foods.

Safe Stuffing

For optimal safety and uniform doneness, cook the stuffing outside the turkey in a casserole dish. However, if you place stuffing inside the turkey, do so just before cooking, and use a food thermometer. Make sure the center of the stuffing reaches a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F. Bacteria can survive in stuffing that has not reached 165°F, possibly resulting in foodborne illness. Follow the FSIS' steps to safely prepare, cook, remove, and refrigerate stuffing.

Safe Cooking

Set the oven temperature no lower than 325°F and be sure the turkey is completely thawed. Place turkey breast-side up on a flat wire rack in a shallow roasting pan 2 to 2-1/2 inches deep. Check the internal temperature at the center of the stuffing and meaty portion of the breast, thigh, and wing joint using a food thermometer. Cooking times will vary. The food thermometer must reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F. Let the turkey stand 20 minutes before removing all stuffing from the cavity and carving the meat. For more information on safe internal temperatures, visit FoodSafety.gov's Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures



Holiday Safety Tips:


From SafeKids.org

Decorate Your Tree With Your Kids in Mind

Kids are curious and will want to play with the ornaments on the tree, so you might as well prepare. Move the ornaments that are breakable or have metal hooks towards the top of the tree. That makes room at the bottom for the ones that are safer for young kids.

Water the Tree Regularly
Natural trees look beautiful and smell great, but if they’re not watered regularly, needles can dry out and pose a potential fire hazard. Make sure your tree has plenty of water by checking it regularly.

Check the Lights
Lights are one of the best parts of holiday decorating. Take a look at the ones on your tree and in and around your home for exposed or frayed wires, loose connections or broken sockets.

Blow Out Candles and Store Matches Out of Reach
Keep holiday candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn, and don’t forget to blow them out when you leave the room or before you go to sleep. Make a habit of placing matches and lighters in a safe place, out of children's reach. Avoid novelty lighters or lighters that look like toys.

Keep Harmful Plants Out of Reach
Plants can spruce up your holiday decorating, but keep those that may be poisonous out of reach of children or pets. This includes mistletoe berries, holly berry, and Jerusalem cherry. In a poison emergency, call the national Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Find the Perfect Toy for the Right Age
Consider your child’s age when purchasing a toy or game this holiday season. It’s worth a second to read the instructions and warning labels to make sure the gift is just right. Before you’ve settled on the perfect toy, check to make sure there aren’t any small parts or other potential choking hazards.

Keep Button Batteries Away from Young Kids
Keep a special eye on small pieces, including button batteries that may be included in electronic toys. While these kinds of games are great for older kids, they can pose a potential danger for younger, curious siblings.

Don’t Forget a Helmet for New Bikes or Other Toys
If your child’s heart is set on a bike, skateboard or scooter this holiday season, be sure to include a helmet to keep them safe while they’re having fun.

Prevent Spills with Pot Handles
Kids love to reach, so to prevent burns from hot holiday food or liquid spills, simply use the back burner of your stove and turn pot handles away from the edge.



The 12 Ways to Health Holiday Song from the CDC

Learn how to stay safe and healthy with this festive song, sung to the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas!*

The first way to health, said the CDC to me
Wash hands to be safe and healthy.


The second way to health, said the CDC to me
Bundle up for warmth, and wash hands to be safe and healthy.


The third way to health, said the CDC to me
Manage stress, bundle up for warmth, and wash hands to be safe and healthy.


The fourth way to health, said the CDC to me
Don't drink and drive, manage stress, bundle up for warmth, and wash hands to be safe and healthy.


The fifth way to health, said the CDC to me
BE SMOKE-FREE, don't drink and drive, manage stress, bundle up for warmth, and wash hands to be safe and healthy.


The sixth way to health, said the CDC to me
Fasten belts while driving, BE SMOKE-FREE, don't drink and drive, manage stress, bundle up for warmth, and wash hands to be safe and healthy.


The seventh way to health, said the CDC to me
Get exams and screenings, fasten belts while driving, BE SMOKE-FREE, don't drink and drive, manage stress, bundle up for warmth, and wash hands to be safe and healthy.


The eighth way to health, said the CDC to me
Get your vaccinations, get exams and screenings, fasten belts while driving, BE SMOKE-FREE, don't drink and drive, manage stress, bundle up for warmth, and wash hands to be safe and healthy.


The ninth way to health, said the CDC to me
Monitor the children, get your vaccinations, get exams and screenings, fasten belts while driving, BE SMOKE-FREE, don't drink and drive, manage stress, bundle up for warmth, and wash hands to be safe and healthy.


The tenth way to health, said the CDC to me
Practice fire safety, monitor the children, get your vaccinations, get exams and screenings, fasten belts while driving, BE SMOKE-FREE, don't drink and drive, manage stress, bundle up for warmth, and wash hands to be safe and healthy.


The eleventh way to health, said the CDC to me
Prepare dinner safely, practice fire safety, monitor the children, get your vaccinations, get exams and screenings, fasten belts while driving, BE SMOKE-FREE, don't drink and drive, manage stress, bundle up for warmth, and wash hands to be safe and healthy.


The twelfth way to health, said the CDC to me
Eat well and get moving, prepare dinner safely, practice fire safety, monitor the children, get your vaccinations, get exams and screenings, fasten belts while driving, BE SMOKE-FREE, don't drink and drive, manage stress, bundle up for warmth, and wash hands to be safe and healthy.