The pandemic hasn’t gone away, but Thursday’s focus is on food and loved ones, not illness.
However, Thanksgiving can also cause illness if you do not follow food safety regulations. Like chicken, turkey may be home to Campylobacter and Salmonella, which are common in the intestines and feathers of birds, so care must be taken when storing and preparing turkey meat.
Each year, the United States Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention alert people to avoid getting sick. The basics are as follows:
Decompression: Frozen turkey stays safe indefinitely. However, when thawed, the bacteria begin to grow.
Federal food safety experts recommend that turkeys be placed in a refrigerator container and thawed for 1-2 days. It is very important that the juice does not drip or contaminate other foods.
You can also thaw the turkey in a closed container or plastic bag in cold water or microwave according to the thaw instructions. However, do not thaw turkey at the counter as it may promote bacterial growth. It is also safe to cook frozen or partially frozen birds. It just takes time.
Preparation: Wash your hands with hot soapy water for 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat, especially chicken (birthday songs are of appropriate length). It helps prevent mutual pollution. Also, do not rinse or wash turkeys. Doing so can put you and your family at risk by spreading bacteria and contaminating tableware, utensils and other foods.
thing: Food safety experts recommend that the stuffing be cooked individually to ensure that it is fully cooked. When stuffing turkey, put it just before cooking. Either way, use a food thermometer to ensure that the center of stuffing reaches 165 degrees.
Bacteria can survive with padding that has not reached that temperature and can make someone sick. When cooking turkey stuffing, remove the bird from the oven and wait 20 minutes before removing it. This allows you to cook a little more.
cooking: Set the oven temperature to at least 325 degrees and cook the birds in a roast pan at least 2 inches deep. Cooking time varies depending on the size of the turkey. It will cook properly when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Test by inserting a food thermometer into the thickest part of the chest, thigh, or wing joint. Federal authorities recommend using a food thermometer, even if the bird has a pop-up thermometer.
Leave the turkey for 20 minutes, then remove all padding from the cavity and carve.
aftermath: Follow the 2-hour rule for excluding fresh food. At temperatures above 90 degrees, there is an hour rule. After these deadlines, Clostridium perfringens grows on cooked foods. This is the second most common bacterial cause of food poisoning. When you’re past those times, throw away the food.
Refrigerate leftovers below 40 degrees as soon as possible and within those time frames. Food safety experts recommend dividing large fillets of meat into smaller pieces and allowing them to cool quickly in the refrigerator. Reheat all leftovers to at least 165 degrees.
For more information, USDA Food Safety Tips For Thanksgiving.
Lynne Terry is the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Oregon Capital Chronicle, a brother site of Pennsylvania Capital Star. Where this story first appeared..
U.S. Food Safety Experts Offer Thanksgiving Tips
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