Avoid Food Poisoning on Turkey Day
Half the fun of cooking and getting together with friends and family is drinking a little wine while preparing the food. Don't let the alcohol and festivities go to your brain and make you forget safe food practices:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water
- Avoid cross-contamination of foods by keeping raw and cooked foods separated
- Sanitize knives, cutting boards and food contact surfaces
- Keep refrigerated foods below 40 degrees F and frozen foods below 0 degrees F.
- Cook meats at the recommended temperatures, using a meat thermometer
- Mayonnaise kept at room temperature is a common cause of food poisoning - bacteria collect in this rich food if left out of the cold too long.
- Do not thaw pre-stuffed turkey before cooking
- Thaw turkey in the refrigerator: 24 hours for every 5 lbs. of turkey.
- Never thaw a turkey at room temperature on the counter
- If you choose to stuff your turkey, do so just before cooking and prepare the stuffing right before cooking.
- Turkey is completely done when the internal temperature of the thigh and breast are 165 degrees F.
- It takes about 4.5 hours to cook an unstuffed 20 lb. turkey and almost 5 hours for a stuffed 20 lb. turkey.
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps