For a happy Thanksgiving you need your loved ones, food, drink and a couple of turkey safety tips. If you follow these tips, you’ll minimize the risk of nasty surprises. Happy Holidays to you all!
- Thawing the bird: every four pounds of turkey need a minimum 24 hours of thawing in the fridge. Place the unopened turkey breast side up in a tray in the refrigerator. Make sure no fluids leak out of the tray as the fluids can contaminate your fridge with Salmonella. Check this page if you need to know how to thaw a turkey.
- Keep your fridge clean, especially if you had a raw turkey in it. No matter how careful you are there’s always the chance of little spills and cross contamination. For cleaning your fridge stick to specially formulated cleaning products that can be used inside your fridge.
- Check if the turkey is done with a meat thermometer. My personal favorite is this wireless meat thermometer. The turkey is done when the breast is at least 170 degrees Fahrenheit, the thigh needs to be 180 degrees Fahrenheit and stuffing should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit in the center.
- Store any turkey leftovers in the refrigerator and do it within two hours after cooking. Use separate containers. It’s not a problem if the leftovers are still a little warm, modern refrigerators can easily handle that.
- Eat your left over turkey within three days, that’s the time you can keep it safe in the refrigerator.
- Keep your hands clean when you touch uncooked turkey, wash them with plenty of soap and hot water. Salmonella and food poisoning can totally ruin the festive spirit.
- Keep your work surfaces and your cooking utensils clean to prevent cross contamination (Salmonella and other nasty bugs.) Use hot water and a disinfectant cleaning product. Bleach happens to be highly effective at killing kitchen germs, especially those related to raw meat.
- Stuff your turkey the day you’re gonna cook it, not the day before. If you’re a fan of outdoor turkey fryers, then stuff your turkey after it’s done and prepare the stuffing separately.
Enjoy your bird!