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Tips for cooking safely on Thanksgiving

Here’s what you can do to stay safe in the kitchen this Thanksgiving.

ST. LOUIS — Metro West Fire Protection and MSD Project Clear officials have safety tips for cooking on Thanksgiving.

Metro West fire officials said firefighters are busier than normal on Thanksgiving Day.

What you can do

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen when you’re cooking so you can keep an eye on the food
  • Stay in your home while cooking your turkey and check on it frequently. use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.
  • Keep children out of busy kitchens on Thanksgiving.

If you have a cooking fire

  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 911 after you leave.
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
  • For small grease fires, keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled. Never throw water on a grease fire.

With the increase in the number of people using turkey fryers on Thanksgiving, the National Fire Protection Association has created a safety video on these devices which dramatically demonstrates the dangers they can pose. Click here to watch.

While MWFPD focuses on fire safety, MSD Project Clear noted the dangers of improperly disposing of FOG, which is found in many traditional holiday dishes.

FOG is a byproduct of cooking and stands for fats, oil and grease.

It is mostly found in the following:

  • Meats
  • Cooking oil
  • Lard or shortening
  • Butter or margarine
  • Mayonnaise
  • Food scraps
  • “Hidden oils” such as salad dressings, syrup, batter, cheese, and whipping cream

As with home fires, fall and early winter see more FOG issues than any other time of year, particularly around the holiday cooking season. MSDPC encourages all customers to do their part in keeping pipes FOG-free by using proper disposal methods as provided below.

What you can do

  • Wipe visible FOG and food scraps from plates, pots, and utensils into the trash.
  • Never pour FOG down your sink drain, garbage disposal, or the sewer system
  • Cool it, can it and trash it
  • Pour cooled FOG into a container such as empty pet food, vegetable, or coffee cans. Allow the material to cool and solidify.
  • Secure the lid and place it in the trash when full. Lids are available at your local municipality or at MSD’s Administrative Offices.
  • Encourage your neighbors to keep FOG out of the sewer system.

Before You Leave, Check This Out