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Thanksgiving Safety Tips

  • Published
  • By 86th Airlift Wing Safety Office
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 86th Airlift Wing Safety Office reminds the Kaiserslautern Military Community to be careful when preparing meals for their friends and families this holiday season.


Avoid wearing loose fitting clothing. Keep children and pets out of the cooking area to prevent accidents. When the stove or oven are being used, use a timer. The cook should turn off the stove if they step away without someone nearby watching the stove. They should ensure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off before going to bed or leaving the home.

Families should keep anything that can catch fire such as pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains away from the stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat. Families should clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.


Steps to follow when cooking a turkey:

The USDA recommends thawing the Turkey in the refrigerator. Use a refrigerator thermometer to ensure the turkey is stored at 40 degrees Fahrenheit/4 degrees Celsius or slightly below.

Those handling food should wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before touching anything to prevent the spread of many types of infection and illness.

It is not recommended to wash the turkey. This spreads pathogens onto kitchen surfaces. Keep raw turkey separated from all other foods at all times. Avoid cross-contamination by using separate cutting boards, plates, and utensils when handling raw turkey. Families should wash items that have touched raw meat with warm soap and water, or place them in a dishwasher. The only way to kill bacteria that causes foodborne illness is to fully cook the turkey.

The turkey should cook until it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit/74 degree Celsius, as measured by a food thermometer. Check the turkey’s temperature by inserting the thermometer in three places: the thickest part of the breast, the innermost part of the thigh, and the innermost part of the wing.

Steps to follow when frying a turkey:

Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors, away from buildings and any other flammable materials, avoiding garages or wooden decks. Make sure fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping. Families should not let children or pets near the fryer even if it is not in use. The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot hours after use.

Ensure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful with marinades. Water causes oil to spill over and can start a fire or even become an explosion hazard.

Attend the fryer at all times. Most units do not have thermostat controls; if you do not watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire. Either use potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles. If possible, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.

It is recommended to keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Use the all-purpose fire extinguisher if the fire is manageable, if the fire increases, immediately call the fire department for help.


1.  CLEAN:  Wash your hands and surfaces often.

2.  PREVENT: Separate foods to avoid cross-contamination.

3.  COOK:  Always cook food to the correct temperature.

4. CHILL:  Refrigerate promptly.

Please contact the 86th AW Safety Office at Commercial 06371-47-7233/DSN 480-7233 if you have any questions.