(KUTV) Health experts want everyone to have a save holiday season. Food safety, they say, should be your top priority this holiday season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a few simple tips in the kitchen.
Turkey Basics: Safely thaw, prepare, stuff, and cook. Safe Thawing:
Thawing turkeys must be kept at a safe temperature. The "danger zone" is between 40 and 140F the temperature range where foodborne bacteria multiply rapidly. While frozen, a turkey is safe indefinitely, but as soon as it begins to thaw, bacteria that may have been present before freezing can begin to grow again, if it is in the "danger zone."
There are three safe ways to thaw food: in the refrigerator, in cold water, and in a microwave oven.Safe Preparation:
Bacteria present on raw poultry can contaminate your hands, utensils, and work surfaces as you prepare the turkey. If these areas are not cleaned thoroughly before working with other foods, bacteria from the raw poultry can then be transferred to other foods. After working with raw poultry, always wash your hands, utensils, and work surfaces before they touch other foods.Safe Stuffing:
For optimal safety and uniform doneness, cook the stuffing outside the turkey in a casserole dish. However, if you place stuffing inside the turkey, do so just before cooking, and use a food thermometer. Make sure the center of the stuffing reaches a safe minimum internal temperature of 165F. Bacteria can survive in stuffing that has not reached 165F, possibly resulting in food borne illness. Safe Cooking:
Set the oven temperature no lower than 325F and be sure the turkey is completely thawed. Place turkey breast-side up on a flat wire rack in a shallow roasting pan 2 to 2-1/2 inches deep. Check the internal temperature at the center of the stuffing and meaty portion of the breast, thigh, and wing joint using a food thermometer. Cooking times will vary. The food thermometer must reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165F. Let the turkey stand 20 minutes before removing all stuffing from the cavity and carving the meat
For more safety tips, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/features/TurkeyTime/
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