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Be Thankful for Food Safety and Quality Standards This Thanksgiving

As the holiday season kicks off tomorrow with the celebration of Thanksgiving, millions of Americans will join together with family and friends in homes (and restaurants) all over the country, consuming epic portions of roast turkey, cranberry sauce, and other seasonal dishes. Luckily, voluntary consensus standards are in place to safeguard the quality and safety of the food that ends up on our plates during the holiday.

Given how central turkey is to most American Thanksgiving dinners, assuring the quality and hygiene of the birds is an important priority. NSF/ANSI 3-A 14159-2-2010, Hygiene Requirements for the Design of Hand Held Tools Used in Meat and Poultry Processing, sets down hygiene requirements for employees who handle turkeys and other sources of meat, allowing consumers to have faith that the turkey they cook and eat are clean and safe. The American National Standard (ANS) was developed by NSF International, an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) member and audited designator.

Ovens are the key tool in the preparation of many Thanksgiving dinners, allowing turkeys, pies, and other treats to cook while other dishes are prepared. However, all that use means that cooking-related fires spike on Thanksgiving; in 2010, 1,370 fires were reported on Thanksgiving, 219% higher than the daily average for that year. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has set down safety guidelines for ovens that are intended to make sure that baking and roasting can be carried out safely. IEC 60335-2-6 Ed. 5.2 b:2008, Household and similar electrical appliances - Safety - Part 2-6: Particular requirements for stationary cooking ranges, hobs, ovens and similar appliances, was developed by IEC Technical Committee (TC) 61, Safety of household and similar electrical appliances; Secretariat duties for TC 61 are performed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), an ANSI member and audited designator, which also serves as the U.S. National Committee (USNC) - approved U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Administrator to TC 61.

Even if you decide to break from tradition and have your Thanksgiving in a local restaurant, a standard from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has your back. ISO 22000:2005, Food safety management systems - Requirements for any organization in the food chain, lays out requirements for food safety management for organizations of all sizes involved in the commercial production and delivery of food products, ensuring that the food provided by these groups is safe to eat. The International Standards was developed by ISO TC 34, Food products. The American Oil Chemists' Society (AOCS) serves as the ANSI-accredited administrator of the U.S. TAG to ISO TC 34.

Standards play an important role in allowing families nationwide to enjoy their Thanksgiving holiday in a safe manner. ANSI wishes all of its members and friends a happy, hearty Thanksgiving Day.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]