Turkey is one of our basic holiday foods and it’s important to handle and cook turkey safely to avoid any illness. Here are a few helpful tips.
Thawing a Turkey
- Never thaw a turkey at room temperature.
- Leave it in the original plastic package.
- Place turkey on a tray on the bottom shelf in the fridge, allowing 5 hours per pound defrost time OR
Place turkey in a large container, cover turkey completely with cold water, change water every hour, allowing 1 hour per pound defrosting time.
Handling a Turkey
- Always wash your hands thoroughly in hot soapy water before and after handling the raw meat.
- Do not let raw meat juices come in contact with ready to eat foods in the fridge or during preparation.
- Do not put cooked foods on the same plate that held the raw meat.
Cooking a Turkey
- Roast turkey (unstuffed) for about 20 minutes per pound at 325°F (160°C) until the inside temperature of the turkey reaches 180°F(82°C).
- Insert an oven-safe probe thermometer into the thickest part of the meat (breast or thigh) to check the temperature – do not touch bone.
Cooling and Storing Turkey Leftovers
- Do not leave cooked turkey at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
- Refrigerate or freeze all leftovers within two hours.
- Make sure the refrigerator is set at a temperature of 4°C (40°F) or lower, and keep the freezer at minus 18°C (0°F) or lower.
- Cooked turkey may be stored in a covered container or aluminium foil for up to 4 days in a fridge, or up to 3 months in a freezer.
Stay Safe and enjoy your turkey!