Thanksgiving is about family, food and gratitude. It is a day of celebration and cheer. Plenty of time is spent in the kitchen laboring over family recipes or just heating up the goodies you picked-up from Publix. With all the chopping, basting, shredding and baking, hazards are abundant in the kitchen.
Federal agency, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), reports that kitchen fires double on Thanksgiving Day compared to any other day of the year. Nearly 2,000 kitchen fires occur on Thanksgiving with approximately $21 million dollars in property damage.
“It is easy to get focused on food preparation and overlook maintaining a safe environment in the kitchen,” said Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent homeowners insurance agency.
In the Kitchen
Cooking is the primary source of kitchen fires and injuries in the home. Fortunately, most fires can be put out with quick action from a host or house guest. However, if a fire is difficult for you to control, immediately call 911.
Before getting started, make sure your oven, burners and stove are clean and free of grease and food build-up.
Unattended cooking is the number one cause of kitchen fires, stay by your pan.
To prevent spills and burns be sure to turn handles inward, toward the back of the stove.
Make the area in front of the stove a “no zone” for kids. Be sure to keep a clear path where hot liquids are traveling.
While cooking, wear short sleeves or roll up your sleeves. Clothing is easily ignited.
Keep kitchen clutter such as, pot holders, towels and food wrapping away from the stove.
Have a pan lid or cookie sheet nearby to cover a small stove fire.
If a fire occurs in the oven, turn off the heat and keep the oven door closed.
When cutting, always cut on a stable surface and never cut food in your hand. If a knife falls from your hand or the counter, do not attempt to catch it, step back and let it fall on the floor.
“Cooking a Thanksgiving meal is a big undertaking. Taking time to follow safety guidelines will provide you with a successful feast,” says Buck With GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent homeowners insurance agency.
Salmonella and Campylobacter can really ruin the Thanksgiving festivities. Properly handling, preparing and cooking your food can prevent foodborne illnesses.
Wash your hands not your turkey. This is the best way to avoid spreading bacteria. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports 68 percent of consumers wash poultry in the sink. This can splash bacteria around your kitchen up to 3 feet away, contaminating surfaces and anything else in the area.
Use a food thermometer for your turkey. Cook it to at least 165 degrees.
Properly thaw your turkey. Allocate 24 hours per 5 pounds for defrosting in the refrigerator.
Make sure to wash all produce.
“Thanksgiving is an ideal time to express my gratitude to our phenomenal independent agents and their staff for all their hard work to make GreatFlorida Insurance a success. Also, a big thanks to all our customers. It is our honor and pleasure to serve you and your families,” Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance.
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