Town offers safety tips for cooking Thanksgiving turkey

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without turkey and the town’s Department of Health has several tips to ensure your holiday bird is safe to eat.

The department recommends that a fresh, ready-to-cook whole turkey be refrigerated immediately. They are just as perishable as fresh meat and fresh fish. Be sure to loosely wrap the giblets and store them separately.

Keep frozen turkeys frozen and tightly sealed in the original plastic covering before thawing. Never thaw them at room temperature. Always thaw frozen turkey in the refrigerator. This takes time — sometimes several days for larger turkeys (about one day for every five pounds) — so plan ahead. Another safe way to thaw a turkey is to place the wrapped turkey in a clean container and run cool tap water over it. Be sure to keep the water running.

Cooks should wash their hands properly before preparing food, after handling raw meat and before eating for 20 seconds with soap and water.

The turkey should also be thoroughly washed before cooking. Be careful to clean and disinfect all surfaces and utensils that come in contact with the raw turkey prior to their contact with other cooked and ready-to-eat foods. A good disinfecting solution includes one teaspoon of household bleach to one gallon of water.

Ideally, it is best to cook stuffing separately to keep bacteria from growing in the turkey cavity. If you must stuff the turkey, do so just before cooking. If it is necessary to make the stuffing ahead of time, refrigerate it separately. Under no circumstances should the turkey be stuffed and refrigerated overnight.

Be sure to  cook the turkey thoroughly. It’s best to use a meat thermometer to ensure the turkey and stuffing has been cooked to a minimum temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Never partially cook a turkey and then finish cooking it later. Bacteria can survive in partially cooked turkey.

Finally, if making gravy, be sure to cook giblets thoroughly and bring the gravy to a boil. Keep the gravy very hot — 140 degrees Fahrenheit or above — prior to use. Refrigerate immediately after the meal.

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

© Hersam Acorn. All rights reserved. The Greenwich Post, 10 Corbin Drive, Floor 3, Darien, CT 06820

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress