Thanksgiving prep and clean up: how to keep your home and family safe

Thanksgiving is this week and soon, lots of us will be gathered around the table, ready to enjoy a meal.
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 6:08 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -Thanksgiving is this week and soon, lots of us will be gathered around the table, ready to enjoy a meal. You’ll want to make sure you are properly prepping this year’s meal to prevent anyone from getting sick.

Fixing the turkey can be a bit intimidating. If you are prepping this year’s meal, here are a few things you need to know to ensure the day goes smoothly.

1. Make sure to prep your ready-made foods like salads and fruits and veggies on a different surface than poultry or raw meat to prevent any cross-contamination.

2. If you haven’t started thawing your turkey, it may not be ready for Thanksgiving dinner. It can take up to 6 days to thaw a 20-pound bird in the fridge.

“When you’re throwing out your turkey or any other raw meat, it’s important that you put that on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator, said Chef Nicole Young. “Most refrigerators are solid glass shelves, so ideally, those products shouldn’t intermix, but if your turkeys above say the ingredients for your salad, and some of those Turkey juices dripped down onto your salad, and all of that other product needs to be thrown away.”

To avoid having the turkey drip into other parts of your refrigerator, place it in a large bowl or pan as it thaws.

Thanksgiving can be a lot of prep, but it can also be a lot of clean-up work that can be hard on your appliances.

Cleaning up after prepping a huge meal is a chore, but it could be an even bigger disaster if you’re not careful. Plumbers say that the day after Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days of the year with calls of clogged drains, so here are a few tips to keep in mind so that you don’t end up in a catastrophe.

Don’t put grease down the drain. You’l want to pour that into a jar or a can and throw that away with the rest of the trash. If you put it down the drain, it can form into a solid that will cause a blockage.

Another thing to keep in mind is don’t run your dishwasher and garbage disposal at the same time. Since your dishwasher and your garbage disposal share a drain, running both simultaneously could cause food scraps to mix with your dish wash cycle.

“Any solid food shouldn’t go down your garbage disposal,” said Young. “You want to avoid things like onion peels especially. Those really tend to kind of, you know, get in the inner workings and destroy your garbage disposal. It’s okay for liquids or even little pieces of stray food if they get down your garbage disposal, but for anything solid, go ahead and put that either in your compost bin or in your trash can and take that out with the regular trash.”

Don’t put things like celery sticks, egg shells, and potato peels in the garbage disposal. Most pipes are also not made to push solid foods through the system.

To report a correction or typo, please email