For those of us north of the border, Thanksgiving comes a little early. If you are like me, you like to cook a big feast, and nibble away at different variations of leftovers for the next week. Turkey sandwiches, turkey pie, turkey soup, more turkey sandwiches. Tonight I have the turkey bones in a pot making broth. I almost look forward to the leftovers as much as the Thanksgiving dinner itself!
However, last year at this time, I heard a pretty disturbing ad on the radio about turkey safety. I gasped as I heard the voice tell me that leftovers should be eaten within 2 or 3 days at the most, and that they should not be reheated more than once. What?! Then came even stranger news- stuffing should be cooked separate from the turkey, not inside it!! Why the heck is it called "stuffing" then?
The evil force that has tainted my love of leftovers is called salmonella, or food poisoning. Did you know that if you have a weakened immune system as a result of leukemia or lymphoma, or because of treatments you have received such as chemotherapy, you are not only more susceptible to food poisoning, you can also get much much sicker from it than the rest of us?
Therefore, in order to keep your Thanksgiving a happy one, follow a few simple food safety rules. Make sure everything you eat is well cooked, that you store it properly before and after cooking, and that you wash your hands, utensils and kitchen surfaces often while preparing food.
Better yet, why not tell your loved ones all about turkey safety and then supervise their technique while they make you dinner?
Health Canada. Turkey Food Safety Tips. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/alt_formats/pacrb-dgapcr/pdf/iyh-vsv/food-aliment/turkey-dinde-eng.pdf Accessed October 5, 2010.