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Thanksgiving is certainly going to look very totally different this yr. Zoom and digital visits with prolonged household and associates. Fewer individuals round our tables — ideally, simply our rapid households.

However adjusting the vacations to battle COVID-19 doesn’t suggest you’ll be able to’t cook dinner a Thanksgiving meal!

And when you’re the chef, keep in mind — use safe-cooking guidelines like, “maintain scorching meals cold and hot meals chilly, maintain meats and veggies separated throughout meals prep, and follow good hygiene.”

As a result of the very last thing you wish to do, after combating COVID and staying secure, is to by accident serve up helpings of micro organism like E. coli, listeria and salmonella that may flip your meals into heaping plates of food-borne sickness!

With that in thoughts, the County’s Division of Environmental Well being is providing its annual (and enjoyable) safe-Thanksgiving cooking quiz that will help you put together.

What’s one of the simplest ways to thaw frozen meat? (this yr’s smaller turkey, Cornish recreation hen, no matter…)

  1. Put it out on the counter, do not let anybody contact it and wait until the surface is mushy-soft.
  2. Run scorching water over it till it will get mushy-soft.
  3. Let it sit in a pot of water till it will get (look ahead to it…) mushy-soft!
  4. Let it defrost within the fridge. Meats, poultry and fish ought to be defrosted within the fridge. (If it is a huge turkey, for a minimum of 24 hours for each 5 kilos in weight.)

Reply: D, in fact. Utilizing the fridge to thaw slowly and evenly is the perfect, most secure approach to defrost any meat. As a result of micro organism can develop exponentially at room temperatures. Be aware: America Division of Agriculture says you could additionally thaw meats in chilly water. However — and that is necessary — the water should be chilly, underneath 40 levels, and ought to be modified each 30 minutes to maintain it chilly. The fridge’s simpler!

How usually must you wash your fingers and reducing boards when getting ready meals?

  1. You do not have to scrub your fingers and reducing boards. A number of germs will toughen up your immune system!
  2. Earlier than you begin cooking.
  3. After you pet the canine, the cat, the gerbil or choose up the children.
  4. If you happen to sneeze, blow your nostril or should run to the restroom.
  5. Every thing besides reply A, however primarily, “OFTEN.”

Reply: Positively E. (Get out of the kitchen when you answered A) It’s best to wash your fingers and reducing boards earlier than and after every part in B, C and D. Handwashing is at all times a key a part of secure cooking. And this yr, with COVID? It is necessary even when you’re not cooking! So wash your fingers. Dangerous micro organism, from E. coli to salmonella and staphylococcus aureus, in addition to viruses, could be faraway from individuals’s fingers via correct handwashing.

Listed here are only a few different issues it is best to wash your fingers after doing: coughing, blowing your nostril, utilizing the restroom dealing with cash, consuming, consuming, smoking and dealing with or getting ready uncooked meals.

Do you have to rinse off fruit and veggies?

  1. Not if they appear clear.
  2. Nah, the grocery store washes them, proper?
  3. Nope. They grew in nature. That is ok for me.
  4. Sure. It’s best to rinse fruit and veggies with chilly water to take away lingering filth that may carry micro organism.

Reply: Completely D. Rinsing with chilly water cleans off filth and different contaminants. However do not wash them with detergents or cleaning soap, even dishwashing cleaning soap. You may find yourself consuming residues from these cleaners in the event that they’re absorbed by fruit and veggies.

Why must you maintain uncooked meats and meat merchandise separated from fruit and veggies when reducing them up or getting ready them?

  1. Meat could make your veggies style bizarre. Or veggies could make your meat style bizarre. Both approach, bizarre.
  2. Face it, meats and fruit and veggies simply do not like one another. Final thing you want is a meals battle.
  3. As a result of uncooked meats, meat merchandise and blood can carry micro organism like E. coli and salmonella that may contaminate fruit and veggies — and make individuals sick.
  4. You should not have to. It is referred to as “marinade.”

Reply: The proper reply is C. (If you happen to mentioned D, once more — get out of the kitchen.) Cross-contamination is likely one of the most typical causes of food-borne sickness, in line with the USDA. That’s, the switch of dangerous micro organism from one meals, notably uncooked meats, poultry and shellfish to different meals. When getting ready meals, it is advisable maintain uncooked meats and their juices away from fruit and veggies and all ready-to-eat meals. Not socially-distant away (you do not want 6 toes), however nonetheless, aside.

If you happen to can, use separate reducing boards for meats and produce. If you cannot, wash reducing boards with scorching, soapy water after utilizing them on uncooked meats and earlier than utilizing them to chop fruit and veggies!

What’s the Hazard Zone? And what does it should do with Thanksgiving dinner?

  1. The Hazard Zone is that basic 1996 adventure-thriller film starring Robert Downey Jr. and Billy Zane! It has nothing to do with Thanksgiving … (We all know, you had been hoping for “that track from the 80s film “Prime Gun.” We figured it was time to vary it up…)
  2. It is that toy-strewn distance it’s a must to traverse, carrying all of the Thanksgiving meals out of your kitchen to the desk, with out dropping every part!
  3. It is the vary of temperatures between 40 levels Fahrenheit and 140 levels Fahrenheit — the temperatures the place micro organism can develop like loopy in meals, doubling in quantity in as little as 20 minutes.

Reply: The proper reply is B. We love a very good adventure-thriller film as a lot as you do. However the Hazard Zone is the vary of temperature between 40 levels and 140 levels Fahrenheit that enables micro organism to breed exponentially — not a very good factor. If scorching meals cool or chilly meals warmth up sufficient to enter that zone, your meals can develop into a bacteria-fest. And you’ll find yourself getting sick. Maintain scorching meals safely heated with chafing dishes, preheated steam tables, warming trays, gradual cookers and ovens. Place chilly meals in containers on ice, or within the fridge. And refrigerate leftovers as quickly as you’ll be able to, however positively inside two hours. Here is extra in regards to the “Hazard Zone.”

And at last:

Is the “five-second rule” actual? Are you able to eat one thing you have dropped on the ground when you choose it up in lower than 5 seconds?

  1. Sure. It’s positively actual. Simply choose it up fast and blow on it. Nothing can contaminate your meals in lower than 5 seconds. Uncle Dave taught me that.
  2. It is not actual. And you actually should not eat something you have dropped on flooring. (Sorry Uncle Dave.)
  3. My canines eat every part off the ground and I’ve by no means seen them get sick.

Reply: B. It is OK for the canine to eat meals that is fallen to the bottom but it surely’s not secure for individuals. Fact is, nearly any contact is lengthy sufficient for meals to be contaminated by micro organism that may be discovered on the bottom or in your own home. In accordance with analysis carried out this yr by Rutgers College, micro organism can switch from a floor to meals in lower than a second!

So there you’ve gotten it. We hope you are an professional. However when you’re nonetheless , you may get extra details about meals security suggestions at‘s “Meals Security by Kinds of Meals” webpage, or by calling the USDA’s Meat and Poultry hotline at 1-888-674-6854.

Be secure. And have a very good Thanksgiving!

This press launch was produced by San Diego County Authorities. The views expressed listed here are the creator’s personal.

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