Urgent! Turkey-Day Food Safety

One version of food safety!

One version of food safety!

1. Safely Thaw Your Turkey — Bottom line, if your bird isn't mostly thawed right now, it isn't going to be by tomorrow. So your only real option is a fresh turkey. If you're trying the 'quick thaw' method of soaking in cold water in the sink, be sure to change out the water every :30 and by all means, sanitize that sink before you do anything else!

2. Cooking — Lots of options out there, but the main thing regardless of method is achieving an internal temp of 165°F. We like to start out with a real hot oven, 425°F, for about :30, then reduce to 325°F until a thermometer inserted into the thick part of the breast reaches 160°F. I know I said 165°, but as you rest the turkey for :30, that temp will reach your target. If you pull it out at 165° and your bird won't be as juicy.

3. Stuffing — I grew up eating a bird stuffed, I'm alive. Some advocate not stuffing. Again, if you stuff, be sure that the stuffing is above 165°. Best practice is to do stuffing separately in a casserole dish and stuff the bird cavity with herbs, spices, oranges, lemons, etc.

4. Leftovers — Be sure and allow all those yummy leftovers to cool completely before placing in the fridge. Bacteria grows between 40°—140°, you may have thoughts of killing your family, but food poisoning is not the way to go! :). So be sure and cool completely before refrigerating or freezing.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!