Cooking safety stressed for Thanksgiving turkeys

Cooking safety stressed for Thanksgiving turkeys

COACHELLA VALLEY, Calif. - This is the time of year millions of families will be cooking a turkey for Thanksgiving and fire and health officials are asking people to take some extra caution.

Firefighters across the country are spreading the word about cooking safety this Thanksgiving holiday. This includes the risks of deep frying turkeys in which a fire could spark from spilled oils caused by a flash boil. That's when a frozen turkey is dropped into a vat of boiling oil causing flames to erupt around the pot.

Fire officials say this is the time of year they receive an increase in fire response calls due to people improperly cooking their turkeys. They suggest thawing the turkey thoroughly and keep a fire extinguisher handy and to do the frying outside, away from structures.

Here are some tips from the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health:

- Thoroughly thaw your turkey to reduce the risk of flash boils.

- Cook the turkey immediately after it's thawed and make sure it's temperature reaches 165 degrees or higher with a food thermometer.

- Put leftovers in containers in the refrigerator or freezer about two hours after the turkey is cooked, and use them within three days to reduce the risk of food borne illness.

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