Food Safety: Turkey Time!

Four important food safety issues that must be considered when preparing turkey:


1. Safe thawing: the best way is in the refrigerator—it make take a day or two to thaw. It may also be thawed under cold running water (about 70°F) or in a microwave. Do NOT leave your turkey in the danger zone of 41°F-135°F (e.g. room temperature) for more than two hours.


2. Safe preparation: to prevent cross-contamination, properly wash your hands; and sanitize utensils and work surfaces.


3. Safe stuffing: use a probe thermometer to ensure that the center of the stuffing is cooked to a minimum of 165°F. Better yet, cook the stuffing separately, not in the turkey.


4. Safe cooking: Use a probe thermometer to check the temperature at the meaty portion of the breast, thigh and wing joint to ensure they reach 165°F or above. Once cooked, let the turkey stand for 20 minutes before removing the stuffing and carving.


Divide leftovers into small portions, refrigerate at 41°F or below and use within 3 to 4 days. Discard leftovers that have been at room temperature for more than two hours.

—Daniel Archer, MPH, REHS

Safety, Sanitation and

Environmental Compliance manager

For more info, contact Daniel: