Reduce Foodborne Illness Potential In Your Thanksgiving Turkey

Posted on November 25, 2013

People who aren’t used to cooking whole birds will attempt to do so on Thanksgiving, and as such, cooking may not always be carried out properly.  If the bird isn’t cooked all the way through, foodborne illness is a distinct possibility.  To make sure that you’re not going to be making your guests sick, we’d like to turn your attention to a new report in the Los Angeles Times that relates some important safety tips from Butterball and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

One big worry is that the turkey won’t be thawed properly before it’s placed in an oven.  Many people will just set the turkey out at room temperature, but the length of time it takes to thaw means that the turkey can sit at a dangerous middle temperature that could serve to increase the potential for Salmonella and other foodborne illnesses.

You also shouldn’t cook the the stuffing that goes with the meal inside the turkey itself given the wide separation in appropriate temperature between the two.  The heightened temperature necessary to cook stuffing can cause the turkey to become dried out, and if you try to avoid this by not heating the stuffing to a sufficient degree, foodborne illness could occur.

Finally, remember such precautions as washing your hands and refrigerating leftovers once you’re done.  That way, no one will be tempted to eat a room temperature piece of turkey and become ill as a result.

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