It's nearly Thanksgiving and time to talk turkey — turkey safety, that is!
For your meal to bring only compliments, keep turkey flavorful and safe.
- Keep clean. Before and after handling raw turkey and its parts, always wash your hands in warm, soapy water. Keep your utensils and work surfaces clean, too.
- Thaw safely — in the fridge, on a clean tray, for 24 hours per 5 pounds of whole turkey, or in cold water that's changed every 30 minutes.
- Stuff with care. Cooking dressing separately is safest; fill the turkey cavity with onion or apples and herbs instead. If you prefer to stuff, fill the bird loosely just before roasting: ¾ cup stuffing per pound of turkey.
- Cook thoroughly in no less than a 325°F oven. (No partial precooking!) Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness: 180°F in the thickest part of the thigh muscle, not touching bone, and 165°F for the stuffing.
- Serve hot, and finish serving within two hours of roasting. Guests late? Keep cooked turkey hot in a 200°F oven, with the internal temperature at least 140°F.
- Store leftovers safely. First remove the stuffing and debone. Refrigerate shallow containers within two hours of cooking. Eat refrigerated leftover stuffing within two days and turkey within four days.