Cooking School

8 ways to prevent contaminated turkey

By: The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Author: Canadian Living

Cooking School

8 ways to prevent contaminated turkey

By: The Canadian Living Test Kitchen
Turkey plays a central role in holiday celebrations. These easy, common sense tips will prevent a contaminated turkey and provide a healthy feast for your friends and family. 

1. Keep your turkey cold. Store turkey in refrigerator or freezer immediately after it is purchased. Use refrigerated poultry within three days.

2. Thaw slowly. Thaw turkey in refrigerator, allowing 24 hours thawing time for each 5 lb (2.5 kg) of turkey. Do not thaw turkey at room temperature.

3. Change water if thawing in the sink. Or, thaw turkey in cold water, keeping it in original wrapping and changing water regularly to ensure water remains cold.

4. Do not rinse raw turkey. This can spread bacteria everywhere water splashes, creating a safety hazard.

5. Watch those drops. Disinfect anything touched by raw turkey or drippings from thawing. For mild bleach solution, use 1 tsp (5 mL) bleach per 3 cups (750 mL) water.

6. Use meat thermometer and cook turkey until thickest part of breast or thigh is at least 185°F (85°C).

7. Cook stuffing separately. Or stuff turkey just prior to roasting and remove as soon as bird is cooked. Cook stuffing to a minimum of 165°F (74°C).

8. Leftovers need attention. Refrigerate all leftovers within two hours of cooking, cutting and deboning meat from large cooked turkey.


Get more turkey recipes, tips and advice in our All-Important Turkey page >>

How to Cook a Turkey Video:
From thawing to stuffing to trussing to roasting - watch and learn everything there is to know about cooking a perfect turkey.

Click anywhere on the video below to begin playing.

Recipe used in this video: Roast Turkey with Herbed Stuffing

Go to our Canadian Living Test Kitchen Video Library for more great food hints and techniques >>
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Cooking School

8 ways to prevent contaminated turkey