FOOD SAFETY: Turkey Tips For Not Getting Sick

The Centers for Disease Control has released tips for safely preparing a turkey and leftovers so you don’t get sick.


  1. Thawing the Turkey – Thaw your bird in the refrigerator or in a sink of cold water that is change every 30 minutes. Or if your microwave is big enough or the turkey is small enough.
  2. Safely Handle the Turkey – Bacteria from raw poultry can contaminate anything it touches. Wash your hands, surfaces and utensils.
  3. Stuffing a Turkey – Cook your stuffing in a separate container. If you stuff the turkey do it right before you stick the bird in the oven. Make sure the stuffing reaches 165°.
  4. Cooking the Turkey
    1. Set the oven to at least 325°.
    2. Place the thawed turkey with the breast side up in a roasting pan. Cooking times will vary depending on the weight.
    3. Check the temperature with a meat themoter. The temperature at the center of the thickest part of the breast, thigh and wing joint should reach 165°.
    4. Let the turkey stand 20 minutes before removing all stuffing and carving the meat.


Refrigerate leftovers at 40° or lower within 2 hours of preparation to prevent food poisoning.

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