Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Safe 165° Holiday & Safe Traveling for You and Your pets.

Do you have your food thermometer handy? 

Nothing is worse than coming down with the collywobbles from eating improperly cooked or re-heated food.

"As Thanksgiving approaches, cooking the traditional turkey dinner gives rise to anxieties and questions. 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.

Preparation,  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.

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."

From: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/Countdown_to_the_Holiday/index.asp


Traveling tips: http://www.familywatchdog.us/tips/thanksgiving.asp

and:  Padded seat belt harnesses.

A 25-pound, unrestrained dog can become a deadly, 1000-pound projectile in the event of a 40 mph crash. Vehicle pet restraints also prohibit your dog from distracting you while driving.

Riding Safely with your Dog

"Each year thousands of dogs are killed or injured in car accidents. You can be sure your dog rides safely with you by securing the dog with a seat belt. Run the seat belt through the back of the dog's harness as shown in the photos below.


2 large dogs in seat belts




2 large dogs in seat belts.



1 large dog in a seat belt



Run seat belt thru back of harness and secure.




a medium sized dog in a seat belt

a small dog in a seat beltMedium-sized dog in seat belt.

Small dogs need to ride safely too.


If you leave the dog in the vehicle, always release the dog's seat belt so the dog is not confined in one position for a long time.

Leaving a pet in a parked car on a warm day can be deadly. It only takes a few minutes even with the windows cracked for a dog to suffer from heat stroke, brain damage, or even death.

Avoid putting the dog in the front seat because of the airbag.

Put the harness on the dog and the dog's identity tag on the harness. Use the harness on the dog only when travelling or when the dog is on a leash.


"Remember to always put the dog ON LEAD, when leaving the vehicle. All it takes is one second of distraction and your dog is gone forever. "

From: http://www.k9sardog.com/dogsafety.html


Strapping down is important.

Or put your dog, or cat, in a carrier large enough for them to stand up and turn around. Strap it in, through the handle, with a seat belt.  If the carrier is too big for the seat belt to go around it, tie it firmly with some rope, or small ratchet strap, around the seat, either on the seat, or put a larger carrier in the back, and strap firmly to the next seat forward.  Bungees won't work for this.  In a motor home, you will have to find a secure place to strap the carrier.


You could be fatally injured if your pet, in or out of a carrier, becomes a projectile in an accident.


Do not let them hang their head out of the window, it damages their eyes, and they can injured by flying debris.


Feed them a small meal about three hours before you leave.


Take a little water bowl and some water for your pet for when y'all take a pit stop.


Get out and walk around at least every two hours or 100 miles.

This is to prevent DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis, a silent killer) 



"These are times where the food is in abundance. Foods like chocolate is poisonous to animals and poultry bones can split and cause your pet to choke and/or puncture vital organs. Make sure to keep your pet(s) on their regular diet and keep the table scraps to a minimum."

Courtesy of the Houston Humane Society, click here for additional seasonal pet tips.



Hoping that these tips will keep you safe for Thanksgiving Day.

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