Quantcast

Turkey Safety Tips - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Turkey Safety Tips

Burlington, Vermont -- November 23, 2011

No one wants to end a holiday with food poisoning. But it could happen if you don't follow a few common sense safety rules when preparing your Thanksgiving dinner. Joining us this morning is Londa Nwadike, a University of Vermont Extension food safety specialist, with some tips on how to make sure your holiday meal is safe.

FRESH TURKEY: Be sure to buy your turkey from a reputable source. Order ahead, and pick up one or two days before cooking. Do not buy a pre-stuffed fresh bird or hold any raw, fresh bird more than two days without cooking.

THAWING: Thaw your turkey in the refrigerator, not on the kitchen counter. Allow 24 hours of thawing time for every five pounds of turkey. Turkeys also may be thawed under cold running water or in a sink of cold water, provided the product wrapping is intact and you remember to change the water every 30 minutes. Allow about 30 minutes thawing time per pound.

COOKING: Turkey--fresh or thawed but NOT frozen--should be cooked in a preheated oven set at 325 degrees F. When cooking an unstuffed bird, plan on a range of approximately three hours for an eight to 12-pound turkey to approximately five hours for a 20 to 24-pound turkey. For a stuffed bird, plan on approximately 3 1/2 hours for an eight to 12- pound turkey up to 5 1/4 hours for a 20 to 24-pound turkey.

To determine if the turkey is safely cooked, use a food thermometer to ensure that the entire bird has reached a minimum temperature of at least 165 degrees F. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. The stuffing should also reach at least 165 degrees F.

Never use a long, slow-cooking temperature (250 degrees F) as this may not prove hot enough to destroy bacteria. You also should never partially cook a turkey and finish cooking it later. Bacterial pathogens grow best between 40 and 140 degrees F. Conditions for this are ideal in a partially cooked bird.

STUFFING: If you choose to stuff your turkey, stuff it loosely and ensure that the stuffing is moist. Stuff the turkey just prior to cooking, or cook the stuffing separately.

SERVING: Serve turkey immediately after cooking. Never leave food unrefrigerated for more than two hours.

LEFTOVERS: Refrigerate the stuffing and turkey (with the meat removed from the carcass) separately in shallow containers within two hours of cooking. Leftover turkey will keep in the refrigerator for three to four days, gravy and stuffing only one or two days. Turkey may be frozen for up to one month without loss of flavor or safety. Reheat leftovers until 165 degrees

For answers to food safety questions or help in preparing your Thanksgiving turkey, call the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Meat and Poultry Hotline toll-free at (888) 674-6854. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • N.H. man killed in Lunenburg crash

    N.H. man killed in Lunenburg crash

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:33 PM EDT2014-09-02 03:33:55 GMT
    One man is dead following a tractor trailer rollover in Lunenburg.
    One man is dead following a tractor trailer rollover in Lunenburg.
  • 2 charged with skid-steer joyride on I-89

    2 charged with skid-steer joyride on I-89

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:15 PM EDT2014-09-02 02:15:25 GMT
    The theft of some construction vehicles caused chaos on the Interstate this weekend.
    The theft of some construction vehicles caused chaos on the Interstate this weekend.
  • Bike racers wrap up weekend events

    Bike racers wrap up weekend events

    Monday, September 1 2014 9:59 PM EDT2014-09-02 01:59:03 GMT
    The Green Mountain Stage Race took to the streets of Burlington Monday.
    The Green Mountain Stage Race took to the streets of Burlington Monday.
  • Allergy sufferers brave ragweed season

    Allergy sufferers brave ragweed season

    Monday, September 1 2014 7:08 PM EDT2014-09-01 23:08:26 GMT
    If you're sneezing, your nose is running and you're eyes are itchy once again this year -- you're not alone. Fall pollen counts are peaking in our region and proving tough for allergy sufferers looking to enjoy the outdoors.Despite a spate of heat and humidity, the signs of fall are undeniable. Cooler temperatures and color are on the way. And even though many think of spring as "allergy season" due to tree pollens, this time of year can be particularly tough for allergy sufferers, too -- bec...
    If you're sneezing, your nose is running and you're eyes are itchy once again this year -- you're not alone. Fall pollen counts are peaking in our region and proving tough for allergy sufferers looking to enjoy the outdoors.Despite a spate of heat and humidity, the signs of fall are undeniable. Cooler temperatures and color are on the way. And even though many think of spring as "allergy season" due to tree pollens, this time of year can be particularly tough for allergy sufferers, too -- bec...
  • Holiday drivers find lower prices at the pump

    Holiday drivers find lower prices at the pump

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:59 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:59:21 GMT
    Drivers this holiday weekend found lower gas prices at the pump.
    Drivers this holiday weekend found lower gas prices at the pump.
  • Sanders addresses Labor Day rally

    Sanders addresses Labor Day rally

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:51 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:51:52 GMT
    Community members gathered in Burlington's Battery Park Monday to celebrate Labor Day -- and hear from Senator Bernie Sanders.Union leaders addressed the importance of employees supporting one another. They also thanked the community for supporting Vermont's unions. Senator Sanders says the holiday is for working people to not only celebrate their gains, but to also address issues facing the working class."There's a lot of work in front of us if we're going to make sure that our kids and our ...
    Community members gathered in Burlington's Battery Park Monday to celebrate Labor Day -- and hear from Senator Bernie Sanders.Union leaders addressed the importance of employees supporting one another. They also thanked the community for supporting Vermont's unions. Senator Sanders says the holiday is for working people to not only celebrate their gains, but to also address issues facing the working class."There's a lot of work in front of us if we're going to make sure that our kids and our ...
  • Authorities seize animals from Santa's Land

    Authorities seize animals from Santa's Land

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:32 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:32:03 GMT
    The Windham County Sheriffs Department says it seized multiple animals from the theme park this weekend.
    The Windham County Sheriffs Department says it seized multiple animals from the theme park this weekend.
  • Body discovered in Massena

    Body discovered in Massena

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:02 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:02:43 GMT
    New York State Police are investigating an unidentified body found in Massena.
    New York State Police are investigating an unidentified body found in Massena.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.