Thanksgiving Day Food Safety Tips From The Safety Professionals At United Alliance Services!

From all of the staff at United Alliance Services we would like to wish you, your family and friends a Happy, Health and Safety Thanksgiving this Year! As a long time American tradition this is the special day we can all reflect on the many things that we are thankful for and for a short time take nothing for granted!

Food safety starts from the purchase to the preparation, cooking and serving of the turkey and other traditional dishes. Here are some helpful tips to keep your Thanksgiving Day dinner safe, so you can enjoy the company of your family and guests. 


Food Safety Tips When Shopping

Bag the frozen turkey or keep it separate from fresh produce
Pick up the turkey, dairy and eggs just before checking out
Buy your turkey preferably 1-2 days before you cook it
Avoid buying fresh, stuffed turkeys

Storing the Turkey/Perishable Foods

Store the turkey in the freezer if you bought it early in the month.
Keep turkey in the refrigerator if cooking within 24-48 hours
Keep the turkey in it’s package in a pan to keep any juices from getting into fresh produce or food
Refrigerate store bought pumpkin pie

Thawing the Frozen Turkey Safely

There are 3 ways to defrost a frozen turkey safely :
Wash your hands with soap and water before handling the turkey or any food.
Defrost turkey in the refrigerator (40⁰F) approximately 24 hours for every 4-5 pounds of turkey
Submerge turkey in its original package in a pan of cold water enough to cover the turkey. Change the water every 30 minutes, and allow 30 minutes thawing for every pound. Cook the turkey immediately.
Remove any packaging and keep turkey in a microwave-safe pan to catch any juices. Thaw in the microwave oven. Cook the turkey immediately.

Note: Microwave ovens may vary. Be sure to check the manual for the minutes per pound and power level to use for defrosting

Remove any giblets from the turkey cavity and cook separately

Preparing Food Safely

Wash your hands with soap and water. 
Make sure working areas and surfaces, utensils and plates are also clean.
Use separate cutting or chopping boards for meats and for fruits/vegetables. Avoid putting cooked food on cutting boards that have touched raw food.
Avoid wiping your hands that have touched raw food with dish towels.
Keep raw food away from vegetables and side dishes that will not be cooked.

Cooking Food Safely

Stuffing the turkey is not recommended. Cook the stuffing separate.
Use a food thermometer. You can’t tell if the turkey is cooked simply by looking
Check to make sure every part of the turkey reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165oF, even if your turkey has a pop-up temperature indicator. Check the innermost part of the thigh and wing, and the thickest part of the breast.
Let turkey stand for 20 minutes before carving to allow juices to set.
Stuffing should also reach a minimum temperature of 165⁰F. 
Any dish containing eggs should be cooked to reach an internal temperature of 160⁰F.
Use a separate clean spoon whenever tasting food from the pot. Do not use spoon for stirring to taste.

Serving Food Safely

Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot.
Keep the pumpkin pie and any cold dessert in the refrigerator at 40⁰F
Use clean serving spoons for each dish.
Wash hands with soap and water before handling food or eating.
Carve the turkey with a clean carving knife and fork.

Storing Left-Overs Safely

Store left-over food within two hours after serving, including pumpkin pie.
Use several shallow storage containers to store left-over food.
Store in the refrigerator if eating left-over food within 3 days. Label and date.
Keep in the freezer for longer storage time. Label and date.

For more information and food safety or if you are interested in our food safety awareness course or ServeSafe classes please contact us at or call us at 877-399-1698.