Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

November 20, 2012

Safety should be a Thanksgiving priority, officials say

EFFINGHAM — Burns, bacteria and grease fires aren't what most people have in mind when they plan their Thanksgiving meals.

But food retailers and emergency personnel said some precautions are necessary so celebrations don't turn into tragedies.

Fred Nuxoll, owner of Nuxoll Food Center in Effingham, said he was bringing the meat to his family's celebration. For those families who are preparing the traditional Thanksgiving turkey at home, there are several things they should keep in mind.

"You want the internal temperature to be at 190 degrees," he said. "180 is safe but you really want 190."

Nuxoll said that although the thickness of the meat can change the oven temperature at which turkey needs to be cooked, the final internal temperature would remain the same.

Nuxoll also said cooking turkey next to other meats can create some safety hazards.

"Make sure you keep your meats separate," he said. "Don't cook your ham or chicken right next to your turkey. There's bacteria, salmonella and other things that can spread."

While making sure meats are prepared properly is a priority, other precautions need to be taken to keep the whole family safe. Firefighter Tasha Lange, public education coordinator for the Effingham Fire Department, said the kitchen is generally where safety should be a top priority.

"That's where everyone is going to gather," she said. "Be very watchful of burns and spills and grease fires. Keep kids away from the oven to prevent burns when things are coming out and having a box of baking soda works wonders on a grease fire. Just sprinkle that on the fire, but don't use water."

Nuxoll and Lange said deep fryers are one of the more common and dangerous potential problems for families on Thanksgiving.

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