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Serving Guests Safely

Christmas dinnerYou didn’t invite invisible guests to your party, so don’t let them sneak in. Lock out those ugly pathogens that cause food-borne illness by following simple recommendations from food safety experts.

Hosts and hostesses usually prepare more than enough food, and guests rarely consume everything in sight, so, inevitably, after the event, party-givers often wind up with a packed refrigerator. Thankfully, food safety experts have also developed guidelines for safe handling of leftovers. 

Tips on Reheating for Safe, Yummy Leftovers

leftover pizzaRemember "srevotfel"?  You ate it, but perhaps you didn't love it. No, this isn't an exotic imported dish; it's just "leftovers" spelled backwards to avoid calling a re-warmed meal by an unappealing name. You'll probably have leftovers in your not-too-distant future. After all, you don't want your holiday spread to look skimpy; you know that, when the pickings seem lean, guests take less. But, when you cook too much for the size of the crowd you're entertaining, leftovers are inevitable.  So what, of all this stuff they didn't eat, can be safely reheated, and how can we make srevotfel taste good enough to be devoured with enthusiasm?  In the following Q/As, we have expert answers from our Board scientists and the U.S. government.  Let's begin with safety.

Yikes! The Turkey Is Done, But the Guests Are Delayed! How Do I Keep My Thanksgiving Dinner Warm?

Woman serving Thanksgiving TurkeyThe turkey is done, but where are the guests? Winter weather and too much traffic can slow down cars and planes. And then there are those who live around the corner from you but are chronically late for everything. Don’t invite them next year. Find prompter friends. But that doesn’t solve this year’s problem: how to keep food at a safe and appetizing temperature while waiting for dilatory diners. This article will cover holding techniques used by experts.  But first, some basics about food safety and the definition of a cooked turkey.

Using a Turkey Fryer: Tips and Warnings

Turkey FryerThere have been a lot of advancements in turkey fryers over the years, and I think that in general, the newer fryers are much safer than the older, open-pot, open-flame models. At least one manufacturer offers an oil-free turkey fryer (www.masterbuilt.com), which looks a lot more like a smoker than a fryer to me, but it must be safer than the oil-filled alternative!

 

Electric turkey fryers have the advantage of no open flame to possibly ignite the oil.  This is why many can be used indoors. Also, the temperature controls on an inexpensive electric-powered home fryer are more likely to be automated than on the gas version. Finally, the indoor turkey fryers can be used for conveniently frying other foods plus many can be used for steaming too. One negative aspect of frying indoors is the odor and airborne oil particles that invade your home.

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