Tips for Reducing Your Risk of Injury When Cooking the Thanksgiving Turkey

Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Nov 18, 2019 in Personal Injury

putting turkey into fryerTurkey is the essential item on every family’s Thanksgiving menu. Unfortunately, cooking a turkey can lead to various injuries that could quickly end any Thanksgiving celebration.

If you are planning to cook the turkey the traditional way, lifting it into and out of the oven can lead to a back injury if you are not careful. On the other hand, frying a turkey often leads to fires and severe burn injuries, along with property damage and sometimes even death.

Below, learn more about some practical strategies for reducing your risk of injury, no matter how you are planning on cooking the turkey this year.

Avoiding Turkey Frying Injuries

Frying turkeys on Thanksgiving has become quite common. Unfortunately, people often decide to do this before they really know what they are getting into and how dangerous it can be if they do not take precautions.

Some of these precautions may include:

  • Read through the turkey fryer instruction manual carefully and follow the instructions.
  • Use the fryer on a flat, fireproof surface away from your home or any other flammable materials. Never use a turkey fryer in a garage, near trees or on a deck.
  • Help protect your skin from being burned by hot oil by wearing long sleeves and pants.
  • Purchase protective equipment, such as heat-resistant gloves, goggles and an apron.
  • If you are using a propane fryer, keep at least two feet between the tank and burner.
  • Never deep fry a turkey that weighs more than 14 pounds or one that is frozen.
  • Fill the fryer with the appropriate amount of oil and do not overfill it (an inch above the turkey and about three to five inches below the pot’s rim – fill the pot with water first and put the turkey in to determine how much oil you will need).
  • Never leave the fryer unattended, as many fires start when people walk away from the fryer.
  • Never drop the turkey into the pot, slowly lower it in, because otherwise hot oil could splash everywhere and cause severe burns.
  • Once the oil reaches the appropriate cooking temperature, as stated in the instructions, turn the burner off and put the turkey in the pot. Turn the burner back on and bring the temperature back up. Cook for three to five minutes per pound.
  • Use a meat thermometer to determine when the bird has reached the appropriate internal temperature.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby to quickly put out any fires and avoid severe injuries or property damage.
  • Do not allow children or pets near the fryer.
  • Consider using an infrared fryer because no oil is involved, and this could lower the risk of a burn injury.

Avoiding Back Injuries When Roasting Turkey

Cooking a 15-20-pound turkey is not something most people do that often throughout the year. However, whether people are used to lifting something this heavy or not, they may bend their back abnormally when getting the bird into and out of the oven.

Here are some tips on the lifting a turkey to help prevent back injuries, whether you are washing, stuffing, or putting the turkey into or taking it out of the oven:

  • Ask someone else to lift the turkey if it is too heavy for you.
  • Make sure to use proper form whenever you must lift the turkey. Stand with your legs slightly apart and your knees bent. Lift using your legs and not your back. Avoid bending your spine while lifting because this could easily result in injury.
  • Put the turkey into the oven in steps to avoid too much stress on your back. Put the roasting pan on the oven door, reposition yourself, and then lift the bird into the roasting pan. Do this process in reverse when taking the turkey out of the oven.

If an injury does occur this Thanksgiving, make sure to seek immediate medical attention. Waiting for treatment could allow an injury to become much worse and lengthen the healing process.

Phillips Law Group hopes you have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving and avoid any injuries while cooking your Thanksgiving feast.

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