November 15, 2022
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and it is all about coming together with family and loved ones to celebrate and share a meal. Check out our tips for safe cooking this Thanksgiving.
Turkey, as well as other meats and poultry, can be the main contributor to food poisoning during the holidays if handled incorrectly. The first step in preparing your turkey is to thaw it properly. Never thaw a turkey on the counter overnight. The rule of thumb for thawing a turkey is to give one day of thawing for every five pounds of turkey. Once your turkey is thawed, be sure to cook it within a day or two.
Leaving food cooking unattended in your kitchen can be extremely dangerous, so make sure that you or someone else is keeping an eye out at all points during the process. Before putting your turkey in to cook, ensure that it is fully thawed first. Check on it frequently and use a food thermometer to measure its internal temperature. The minimum internal temperature of a fully cooked turkey should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
When cooking your turkey, be sure to cook it at temperatures above 325°F. When the turkey is cooked, use a meat thermometer to ensure it has reached an internal temperature of 165° F, the proper temperature for poultry to be cooked to.
Hot foods, such as turkey and casseroles, should ideally be kept above 135°F. If it drops below this temperature for more than two hours, dangerous bacteria could grow on it, many of which could cause food poisoning. After two hours, this food should be immediately refrigerated or thrown away.
As soon as the meal is finished, put the leftover food in the refrigerator. Do not allow your food to cool to room temperature before putting it in the fridge. The goal is to keep the food at room temperature for the least amount of time possible.
Everyone loves Thanksgiving leftovers, but there comes a point when food must be thrown out. Most Thanksgiving leftovers can be kept up to 3-4 days after they are made. If you suspect the food has started to spoil, throw it away. As the saying goes, when in doubt, throw it out.
This summary is for general informational use only and may not include all relevant information.