Here are some safety tips for preparing your Thanksgiving meal:
- Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before preparing food and after handling any raw poultry or meat before eating.
- Keep your food preparation surfaces and utensils clean and sanitized to reduce the risk of salmonella poisoning.
- Use separate cutting boards – one for meat, poultry and fish and one for cooked foods, vegetables and fruits. Sanitize the cutting board after each use.
- Wash all vegetables before you prepare them.
- Thaw a frozen turkey safely in the refrigerator, allowing 3-4 days for thawing or approximately one day for every five pounds.
- Refrigerate a thawed or fresh turkey no longer than two days before cooking.
- Immediately cook a small turkey that is defrosted in the microwave.
- If you cook your stuffing inside the turkey, stuff it just before roasting.
- Always use a meat thermometer to see if the turkey is completely cooked. The temperature needs to reach 180 degrees F when inserted into the thickest area of the thigh.
- Refrigerate all leftovers within two hours after cooking.
- Leftovers should be eaten within 3-4 days. Freezing leftovers should be done immediately, not after they have been refrigerated for several days.