5 Food Safety Tips for Handling Turkeys
It's the iconic dish of Thanksgiving, but your turkey could make you super sick if you're not careful. Here are a few ways to stay healthy and happy this holiday, according to CDC:
1. This is an important one. Always, always thaw your turkey in the fridge. The United States Department of Agriculture strongly suggests that you thaw the turkey in the fridge. Actually, the department warns against thawing the turkey on the kitchen counter.
2. Just like chicken, washing raw turkey can actually spread germs. While you need to clean chicken with lemon, this is not the case with turkey. The washing of raw turkey spreads germs around your kitchen. Therefore, instead of washing it, pat it dry. While at it, make sure you pat it dry both inside and outside. Furthermore, always make sure that you use paper towels.
3. When cooking your turkey, always make sure that you cook it to 165°F internal temp. This ensures that the turkey is cooked thoroughly. The last thing that you want to do is eat an under-cooked turkey. It just kills the amazing taste of turkey and is very unpleasant. Also, when reheating your leftover turkey, make sure that you reheat it at that temperature also. This is why it's important to always have a thermometer close to you when cooking a turkey.
4. As mentioned above, it's important to have a thermometer handy while you cook your turkey. You must test the temperature of the turkey in several spots. Also, make sure that you always keep the thermometer horizontal. Testing the temperature ensures that the turkey is cooked thoroughly and evenly. Remember that different parts of the bird cook at different temperatures.
5. Please note that it always safer to cook the stuffing out of the turkey. Yes, we know it feels 'festive' to put the stuffing inside the turkey. However, this is a complete no-no. This is because some of the stuffing may not cook properly while inside the turkey because of varying temperatures. Some foods are harmful to consume while raw or undercooked.