Five Tips To Avoid Making Guests Sick At Thanksgiving Dinner
So, you're having a few people over for a Thanksgiving feast. Or. perhaps you're expected to be a guest at the home of someone who's inside your 'bubble' and you'll be dining with them.
Either way, the Centers For Disease Control & Prevention have suggested guidelines you can follow, especially if you're the one hosting and cooking and you want your guests and family to stay safe while getting stuffed! On the CDC Website they say:
Have a small outdoor meal with family and friends who live in your community.
Limit the number of guests.
Have conversations with guests ahead of time to set expectations for celebrating together.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use.
If celebrating indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible. You can use a window fan in one of the open windows to blow air out of the window. This will pull fresh air in through the other open windows.
Limit the number of people in food preparation areas.
Have guests bring their own food and drink.
If sharing food, have one person serve food and use single-use options, like plastic utensils. (CDC.gov)
Here are 5 Tips To Prevent Making Someone Sick on Thanksgiving
1) Make Sure To Thaw Your Turkey Properly. If you have a frozen turkey, you'll need to thaw it before you cook it. For the love of Pete, this is especially true if you DEEP FRY a turkey. When that frozen poultry hits that boiling oil -- stand back and hope you're far away from the house! Better yet, just don't do it! Properly thaw the turkey in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Check the tag on the packaging for specifics, based upon the weight of the bird. 3 Days is usually what I've found to be ideal. The other acceptable method is to thaw in the sink or a large container of water. You want to use COLD water. I know, it's counter-intuitive when thawing and you want to use hot water. DON'T.
2) Use a good quality meat thermometer. This is a crucial tool in cooking any kind of meat but especially poultry where undercooking can result in serious illness. Don't worry about the clock and what the recipe said and don't trust uncle Arvil's eyeballing method. Trust science and the thermometer.
3) Also, check the temperature in more than one location. Breast, Leg, and in the thickest portion of each. 165 degrees, please.
4) If you're not an experienced cook and this is your first attempt at the turkey, don't cook the 'stuffing' inside of the bird. Make it a side dish and bake in the oven or cheat and do the stovetop stuffing. My wife makes awesome oyster stuffing but she knows what she's doing and hasn't poisoned me yet. Not that she hasn't contemplated it a few times. Stuffing inside the cavity makes it harder for the turkey to get done and is a potential warm haven for bacteria. Especially if you are using meat, cooked or otherwise, in the stuffing mix. If you do cook the turkey stuffed, be sure to not pack it too full, which will allow it to heat evenly and thoroughly.
5) Everyone loves leftovers. Just don't keep things past the '3.5 Day Rule'. That's my rule, but I believe it's a good one. It's just a good idea to eat or freeze by then. Give guests care packages to take home with them and that will help keep your fridge less chaotic as well.
Here's a GORDON RAMSAY TURKEY recipe you might want to try:
Awesome Tales From The Butterball Turkey Hotline: