General Turkey Safety Tips

Mar 22, 2013
  • Keep cold food below 40˚F and hot food above 140˚F.
  • Thaw frozen meat on a tray in the refrigerator or in cold running water.
  • Cook fresh meat as soon as possible, but no later than the use-by date on the package. Fully cooking meat destroys bacteria that could cause food-borne illness. A minimum internal temperature of 165˚F is recommended.
  • Prevent uncooked juices from dripping onto other foods in the refrigerator by placing packaged meats on a separate tray or in a sealed container. Store raw meats away from the cooked meats, as well as away from fresh fruit and vegetables, to prevent cross contamination.
  • Use two cutting boards, one strictly to cut raw meats and the other for vegetables and cooked foods. Cutting boards should be washed thoroughly in hot, soapy water after each use and allowed to air dry or be dried with clean paper towels. Use paper towels, not cloth, to wipe off turkey and clean up juices.
  • Wash hands, work surfaces and utensils touched by raw meat and its juices with hot, soapy water.
  • Thawed turkey may be kept in the refrigerator up to 4 days before cooking.
  • Always cook turkey to a minimum of 165°F as measured with a meat thermometer.