COOKING A TURKEY THIS THANKSGIVING? Follow These Tips for Safe Preparation

Ginny 2007.11.15 02:46 조회 수 : 8445 추천:123


How do you know when a turkey is done?  How hot does a turkey need to get? How long before the turkey must be put away in the refrigerator?  

These are among the most common, yet important questions asked when Thanksgiving Day (also informally named “Turkey Day”) comes around!

First, according to health professionals: don’t handle the turkey (or any type of fowl) without first thoroughly washing your hands; disinfecting the work surfaces; and using only well cleaned pots, pans, and utensils.

How can one be sure the turkey is done? Do not consider the color of cooked meat and poultry to accurately know a turkey is done. Only by using a food thermometer can you determine how "done" a turkey is. (For safe eating, it must have reach, and REMAINED at a temperature of 140 F).

140 F is also the temperature ALL cooked food must remain, to destroy harmful bacteria!  Don’t let your food slowly cool down at the table.

And if you serve gravy, make sure it has been cooked to 165 F.  

How about the “dressing” (usually a bread/spices/broth stuffing)? Remove it first; cleaning it from the inside of the bird, immediately. Be prepared to refrigerate it until right before serving.  (Stuffing cannot be safely kept- even refrigerated- for more than a day).

Regarding the other hot foods of Thanksgiving, they all need to be refrigerated as soon after serving as possible.  (Remember:  hot foods will retain a temperature where bacteria can flourish, if not cooled quickly:  Turkey can be cut into thin slices/ or small pieces; and other foods should be cooled in shallow baking pans).  

While this may seem austere (especially if you’ve participated in Thanksgivings whereat the food sat on tables for hours!), it is vital to your and your loved ones’ safety.

Another tip: perishable foods should not be left out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours! (this comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture).

Remember this folk-wisdom when considering what is safe to eat:  “When in doubt, throw it out!”

Have a great, happy Thanksgiving! And work at remaining healthy for the next one!