Food Safety

November 19, 2008
Countdown to the Thanksgiving Holiday

As Thanksgiving approaches, cooking the traditional turkey dinner gives rise to anxieties and questions. What kind of turkey should I buy? Should I buy a frozen turkey or a fresh one? How do I store my turkey?

A few simple steps will not only ease your holiday fears, but will ensure a delicious and a safe meal for you, your family, and your friends. The following information may help you prepare your special Thanksgiving meal and help you countdown to the holiday.

Plan Ahead
Plan your menu several weeks before the holiday. Shopping early will ease the countdown tension for your Thanksgiving meal. Ask these questions to help plan your meal. Do you want a fresh or frozen turkey? Do you have enough space to store a frozen bird if purchased in advance; if not, when should you purchase a turkey? What size bird do you need to buy?

Fresh or Frozen
If you choose to buy a frozen bird you may do so at any time, but make sure you have adequate storage space in your freezer. If you buy a fresh turkey, be sure you purchase it only 1-2 days before cooking. Do not buy a prestuffed fresh turkey.

Use the following chart as a helpful guide:

What Size Turkey to Purchase
Type of Turkey Pounds to Buy
Whole bird 1 pound per person
Boneless breast of turkey 1/2 pound per person
Breast of turkey 3/4 pound per person
Prestuffed frozen turkey 1 1/4 pounds per person – keep frozen until ready to cook

In the refrigerator
Place frozen bird in original wrapper in the refrigerator (40 °F or below). Allow approximately 24 hours per 4 to 5 pounds of turkey. A thawed turkey can remain in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.

Thawing Time in the Refrigerator
Size of Turkey Number of Days
4 to 12 pounds 1 to 3 days
12 to 16 pounds 3 to 4 days
16 to 20 pounds 4 to 5 days
20 to 24 pounds 5 to 6 days

In cold water
If you forget to thaw the turkey or don’t have room in the refrigerator for thawing, don’t panic. You can submerge the turkey in cold water and change the water every 30 minutes. Allow about 30 minutes defrosting time per pound of turkey. The following times are suggested for thawing turkey in water. Cook immediately after thawing.

Thawing Time in Cold Water
Size of Turkey Hours to Defrost
4 to 12 pounds 2 to 6 hours
12 to 16 pounds 6 to 8 hours
16 to 20 pounds 8 to 10 hours
20 to 24 pounds 10 to 12 hours

In the microwave
Microwave thawing is safe if the turkey is not too large. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for the size turkey that will fit into your oven, the minutes per pound, and the power level to use for thawing. Cook immediately after thawing.

The day before Thanksgiving
Make sure you have all the ingredients you need to prepare your holiday meal. Check to make sure you have all the equipment you will need, including a roasting pan large enough to hold your turkey and a food thermometer. Wet and dry stuffing ingredients can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated separately. This may also be done on Thanksgiving Day. Mix ingredients just before placing the stuffing inside the turkey cavity or into a casserole dish.

Thanksgiving Day
If you choose to stuff your turkey, stuff loosely. The stuffing should be moist, not dry, since heat destroys bacteria more rapidly in a moist environment. Place stuffed turkey in oven immediately. You may also cook the stuffing outside the bird in a casserole. Judging cooking time for your turkey will be easier if the following chart is used. The times listed are for a fresh or thawed turkey in an oven at 325 °F. These times are approximate.

Timetables for Turkey Roasting
(325 °F oven temperature)

Cooking Time — Unstuffed
Size of Turkey Hours to Prepare
8 to 12 pounds 2 3/4 to 3 hours
12 to 14 pounds 3 to 3 3/4 hours
14 to 18 pounds 3 3/4 to 4 1/4 hours
18 to 20 pounds 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 hours
20 to 24 pounds 4 1/2 to 5 hours

Cooking Time — Stuffed
Size of Turkey Hours to Prepare
8 to 12 pounds 3 to 3 1/2 hours
12 to 14 pounds 3 1/2 to 4 hours
14 to 18 pounds 4 to 4 1/4 hours
18 to 20 pounds 4 1/4 to 4 3/4 hours
20 to 24 pounds 4 3/4 to 5 1/4 hours

Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the turkey.
A whole turkey is safe cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F throughout the bird. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. All turkey meat, including any that remains pink, is safe to eat as soon as all parts reach at least 165 °F. The stuffing should reach 165 °F, whether cooked inside the bird or in a separate dish.

When turkey is removed from the oven, let it stand 20 minutes. Remove stuffing and carve turkey.

Storing Leftovers
Cut the turkey into small pieces; refrigerate stuffing and turkey separately in shallow containers within 2 hours of cooking. Use leftover turkey and stuffing within 3-4 days or freeze these foods. Reheat thoroughly to a temperature of 165 °F or until hot and steaming.


Preventing Carbon Monoxide Exposure

October 14, 2008
Safety Daily Advisor Newsletter

Today’s Safety Daily Advisor Tip:

10 Tips to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Exposure

Topic: Safety Management

Carbon monoxide (CO) gas is a common industrial hazard resulting from the incomplete burning of natural gas and any other material containing carbon, such as gasoline, kerosene, oil, propane, coal, or wood. Because it is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and nonirritating, workers can be poisoned without warning. Here are 10 tips for safeguarding your workforce.
CO poisoning—and even death—can happen very quickly. You may have read about the four people found dead on a houseboat in Illinois last week, and carbon monoxide has been confirmed as the cause of death.

The reason CO can be lethal is that it displaces oxygen in the blood, depriving the heart, brain, and other vital organs of oxygen. Large amounts of CO can overcome a worker in minutes, causing the employee to lose consciousness and suffocate. Even if an employee recovers, acute poisoning may result in permanent damage.

The OSHA Required Training for Supervisors monthly newsletter provides the following advice.

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Sources of CO Poisoning

One of the most common sources of industrial CO poisoning is the fuel-driven forklift. The risk of CO poisoning is especially high when gas- or propane-powered forklifts are used inside enclosed spaces, such as tractor trailers, refrigerated storage areas, and other nonventilated spaces. Even with ventilation, the situation can still be hazardous, since poisoning can occur even at low CO concentrations.

Other sources of workplace CO poisoning include:

–Cars or trucks left idling in enclosed spaces, such as a garage,
–Portable fuel-burning power tools, such as concrete saws and chainsaws used in confined or poorly ventilated spaces,
–Generators used indoors,
–Poorly vented or malfunctioning heaters, furnaces, and ovens, and
–Power washers, insulation blowers, and compressors used in enclosed areas.

The risk of CO exposure is heightened during cold winter months when doors, windows, and other sources of natural ventilation may be closed.

How to Minimize the Risks

Here are 10 simple tactics for reducing the risk of CO exposures in work areas under your supervision:

1. Identify potential sources of CO exposure and monitor employee exposure.
2. Make sure ventilation systems are working properly to remove CO.
3. Maintain CO-producing equipment in good working condition.
4. Consider switching from gasoline-powered equipment to equipment powered by electricity, batteries, or compressed air for situations where there is a high risk of CO poisoning.
5. Prohibit the use of fuel-powered engines or tools in poorly ventilated areas.
6. Install CO monitors with audible alarms in areas where CO might be formed.
7. Test air regularly in areas where CO may be present, especially confined spaces.
8. Require employees to use a full facepiece pressure-demand self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) or a combination full facepiece pressure-demand supplied-air respirator with auxiliary self-contained air supply in areas with high CO concentrations. Have them use respirators with appropriate canisters for short periods under certain circumstances where CO levels are not exceedingly high.
9. Provide training to educate workers about sources and conditions that may result in CO poisoning, preventive measures, symptoms of exposures, and first aid for CO poisoning.
10. Instruct employees to report ventilation or other problems that could result in CO exposure.

Symptoms of CO Poisoning

It’s important to ensure that your workers are aware of the signs of CO poisoning. Besides tightness across the chest, early symptoms include headache, fatigue, dizziness, drowsiness, or nausea. (Note that early symptoms could be mistaken for signs of other illness, such as a cold, flu, or food poisoning.) During prolonged or high exposures, symptoms may worsen and include vomiting, confusion, and collapse in addition to loss of consciousness and muscle weakness.

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First Aid for Exposure

When CO poisoning is suspected, prompt action can save a life:
–Immediately move the victim to fresh air in an open area.
–Call emergency medical assistance.
–Administer oxygen if the victim is breathing.
–Administer CPR if the victim is not breathing.

Employees can be exposed to fatal levels of CO in a rescue attempt. Rescuers should be skilled at performing recovery operations and in using equipment.

Tomorrow we’ll tackle the legal, management, and training issues of carbon monoxide in the workplace.

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What’s more, all materials are designed especially for supervisors and managers, and are reproducible, so this one resource meets the needs of your entire facility. Also includes a set of safety program management tools, and annual updates as long as you stay in the program, so that when standards change, you have the checklists to keep you both safe and legal.

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October Safety Topic

October 9, 2008

October is Fire Safety Month.  

Risk of Fire Heats Up with Winter Weather

As temperatures cool, the risk of fire heats up. Exposure to fire, flame and smoke is the sixth-leading cause of accidental death in the U.S. – with more deaths occurring in the winter. December, and especially January, typically account for the most fire deaths, when cold weather mixes with the holidays.

In 2006, 2,800 Americans unintentionally lost their lives to fires, flames and smoke, according to the National Safety Council. Help protect your family and co-workers by planning for fire before one happens. Planning provides action steps that can prevent a panic and save lives.

One of the most important things you can do is install a smoke alarm. Properly working smoke alarms decrease your chances of dying in a fire by half, according to the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Test and clean your smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries at least once a year. Replace smoke alarms once every 10 years.

In addition, create escape routes from your home or office and practice escaping from all parts of the building. Install fire extinguishers and teach your family or employees how to use them.

For additional tips, see Home Fire Prevention & Preparedness in the NSC’s online resource library.

Hand Activity Level Application (HAL)

September 9, 2008

I finished it!  I will be sending the HAL application for windows.  Copy both files to your computer.  The VB40032.dll is a library necessary for the HAL app to run.   The instructions are with the app. If you have questions, please send an email. We will discuss in class.