The big day is almost upon us, and you know what that means—quality time spent with our loved ones and the delicious dishes we await all year long.
There’s so much food to prepare, including the star of the meal, the turkey. So let’s talk about how to make sure it’s cooked safely, because if there’s one thing that can put a damper on the festivities, it’s foodborne illness.
Unfortunately, turkey is something that can pass on common foodborne pathogens like salmonella and norovirus if it’s not properly handled and cooked to the ideal internal temperature.
Check these places on your turkey and look for these temperatures: 180°F in thigh. 170°F in breast. 165°F in stuffing.
Here are a few more tips to help you safely cook the perfect turkey:
Store your turkey properly:
Keep your raw turkey in the freezer until you’re ready to thaw it, and ensure the freezer temperature is at or below 0 degrees.
Thaw your turkey safely:
There are a few ways you can do, this but the two best ways are thawing in the refrigerator or in cold water.
If you choose the refrigerator route, allow about 24 hours of thawing for each four to five pounds of turkey.
For cold water thawing, ensure your turkey is in a leak-free bag, and completely cover your turkey with cold water. Replace the water every 30 minutes and allow about 30 minutes of thaw time per pound of turkey.
Click below if you’d like to print this turkey thawing times chart.
Do not rinse your raw turkey in the sink:
According to the CDC, washing raw turkey can spread germs to other foods. Poultry juice can make it onto utensils, countertops, and other foods without you even realizing it, which poses a risk for spreading foodborne pathogens.
Use this turkey cooking time calculator:
To help you cook the perfect (and safe-to-eat) turkey this year, Instacart created this TURKEY COOKING TIME CALCULATOR.
The calculator takes into account your turkey’s weight and the level-of-doneness you prefer, so that you can focus on what really matters — making memories with your flock.
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