ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Hot or Cold, Thanksgiving Fare Made Safer By Standards

New York, Nov 26, 2003

Thanksgiving gives Americans an opportunity to join with loved ones and reflect on their blessings, and share that good fortune with those in need. The gastronomical holiday also presents the annual challenge of providing a feast fit to impress even the most surly relatives and sate the most ravenous gourmets. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is proud to highlight some Thanksgiving-related standards work of its members and accredited standards developers:

Perfectly Broiled Birds

Thanksgiving has gone through a kind of renaissance with new cooking methods like deep-frying and rotisserie. For most people, however, the oven is the appliance of choice for the traditional turkey. ANSI member CSA America (CSA) is one ANSI-accredited standards developer that helps to ensure that the appliance that virtually all Thanksgiving chefs depend on will be working fine during its moment(s) of truth.

CSA Z21.1b-2000, Household Cooking Gas Appliances, details test and examination criteria for household cooking appliances for use with natural manufactured and mixed gases, liquefied petroleum gases and LP gas-air mixtures. CSA-E60335 Safety of Household and Similar Electrical Appliances - Part 2: Particular Requirements for Stationary Cooking Ranges, Hobs, Ovens and Similar Appliances, deals with the safety of stationary electric cooking ranges, hobs, ovens and similar appliances for household use.

Getting the turkey into the oven may be the first challenge, but setting the correct temperature is critical, for more than just good taste. ANSI member and accredited standards developer NSF International (NSF) provides food safety information for consumers, advising that once the turkey is in the oven, one must make absolutely sure that it has been cooked sufficiently to kill any bacteria. A meat thermometer will confirm that the internal temperature of the meat at the thickest portion of the thigh and breast (not near the bone) has reached at least 180 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, if you plan to stuff the turkey, make sure the stuffing reaches a temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Never attempt to cook a partially thawed turkey, because it may cook unevenly. Remember to clean and sanitize the end of the thermometer between each use to avoid cross contamination.

Don’t Forget the Leftovers

No one ever asks, “What’s for dinner?” on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Leftovers are anticipated almost as much as the big night itself. To ensure that the slices of turkey and pumpkin pie that didn’t get picked over are kept cool and bacteria-free in the refrigerator, NSF recommends that leftovers be refrigerated immediately – it is not necessary to let leftovers cool down on the counter first. Large portions of any dish can be separated into smaller containers, covered loosely, and placed in the refrigerator. Smaller containers help food cool down faster, which reduces the chances of bacteria multiplying.

NSF also provides a cold storage chart that gives consumers guidance on how long certain foods will store safely in the refrigerator. According to NSF, those turkey leftovers should only last three to four days, along with the stuffing.

For more Thanksgiving tips, please see related story: Standards Community Keeps Thanksgiving Table Treats Tasty

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