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>>

  • Police investigate Hinesburg woman shot by male relative

    Police investigate Hinesburg woman shot by male relative

    Thursday, April 24 2014 10:08 PM EDT2014-04-25 02:08:02 GMT
    Vermont State Police and Hinesburg police were on the scene at a shooting in Hinesburg at 8:45 p.m. Thursday night.Officials say a 71-year-old man shot a female relative. She was shot in the hand and chest and taken to Fletcher Allen Health Care where she is currently in stable condition.The man is in custody and police say there is currently no motive for the shooting and that there were no prior issues with the relatives.Police are currently still investigating the shooting.More >>
    Vermont State Police and Hinesburg police were on the scene at a shooting in Hinesburg at 8:45 p.m. Thursday night.Officials say a 71-year-old man shot a female relative. She was shot in the hand and chest and taken to Fletcher Allen Health Care where she is currently in stable condition.The man is in custody and police say there is currently no motive for the shooting and that there were no prior issues with the relatives.Police are currently still investigating the shooting.More >>
  • Robber hits the same bank twice?

    Robber hits the same bank twice?

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:01 PM EDT2014-04-24 23:01:18 GMT
    A security guard and bank manager at the People's United in St. Albans held a would-be robber until police arrived. And investigators think he is the same man who robbed the bank Monday.More >>
    A security guard and bank manager at the People's United in St. Albans held a would-be robber until police arrived. And investigators think he is the same man who robbed the bank Monday.More >>
  • Man shot by Vt. cop faces charges

    Man shot by Vt. cop faces charges

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:31 PM EDT2014-04-24 23:31:24 GMT
    A man shot by an officer inside the Bennington police station faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.More >>
    A man shot by an officer inside the Bennington police station faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.More >>
  • Man charged in Vt. teacher killing wants confession tossed

    Man charged in Vt. teacher killing wants confession tossed

    Thursday, April 24 2014 2:29 PM EDT2014-04-24 18:29:39 GMT
    A Vermont man charged with killing a popular St. Johnsbury teacher is asking a judge to exclude from his upcoming trial a detailed confession he gave to police investigators.More >>
    A Vermont man charged with killing a popular St. Johnsbury teacher is asking a judge to exclude from his upcoming trial a detailed confession he gave to police investigators.More >>
  • 2 Vermont men charged in guns and drug case

    2 Vermont men charged in guns and drug case

    Thursday, April 24 2014 2:13 PM EDT2014-04-24 18:13:57 GMT
    Two Vermont men are facing federal charges stemming from the left of firearms from a Hardwick gun store and the trading of some of those guns for drugs.More >>
    Two Vermont men are facing federal charges stemming from the left of firearms from a Hardwick gun store and the trading of some of those guns for drugs.More >>
  • Drug bust in Burlington's Old North End

    Drug bust in Burlington's Old North End

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:18 PM EDT2014-04-24 22:18:27 GMT
    Police made a drug bust Wednesday night in Burlington's Old North End.More >>
    Police made a drug bust Wednesday night in Burlington's Old North End.More >>
  • Maine wire fraud trial of Vt. man set to conclude Friday

    Maine wire fraud trial of Vt. man set to conclude Friday

    Thursday, April 24 2014 5:49 PM EDT2014-04-24 21:49:11 GMT
    The wire fraud trial of a Vermont man convicted for the 2010 explosion that killed two workers at a New Hampshire gunpowder plant is nearing conclusion.More >>
    The wire fraud trial of a Vermont man convicted for the 2010 explosion that killed two workers at a New Hampshire gunpowder plant is nearing conclusion.More >>
  • 150 doctors targeted by tax fraud in NH, Vt.

    150 doctors targeted by tax fraud in NH, Vt.

    Thursday, April 24 2014 4:45 PM EDT2014-04-24 20:45:08 GMT
    New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen has asked the Secret Service and Internal Revenue Service to investigate reports of tax fraud affecting more than 150 doctors and health care providers in the state and in Vermont.More >>
    New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen has asked the Secret Service and Internal Revenue Service to investigate reports of tax fraud affecting more than 150 doctors and health care providers in the state and in Vermont.More >>
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.