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Gobble Gobble: Tips For Turkey Safety

Avoid food-borne bacteria with tips on how to properly prepare a Thanksgiving turkey.

turkey time

Photo: Brian Black (Flickr)

Thanksgiving should be about enjoying food, not worrying about bacteria.

With Thanksgiving, aka Turkey Day, right around the corner health officials are advocating caution in kitchen as people begin preparing their birds for Thursday.

Properly cooking a turkey is important to kill any food-borne bacteria, but it’s not the only important factor in food safety.

Meat should be stored separately from produce in the refrigerator, and any items that touch the turkey, like cutting boards and knives, should be properly washed.

Turkey and any dressing containing turkey should be cooked to at least 165 degrees. Taking the temperature with a meat thermometer in several spots on the turkey will ensure it is cooked through.

Turkey should be kept hot or cold — under 41 degrees for cold and above 140 degrees if hot.

Keep food in the two hour zone — don’t allow food to sit out for more than two hours. Either refrigerate it or reheat it.

Also always remember to wash your hands. Follow these tips for a healthier holiday, and find out more at Food Safety.gov.

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Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Bloomington, Indiana. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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