With Thanksgiving upon us, it's a good time to bring attention to the focal point of most meals, the scrumptious turkey and stuffing. This is not only a safety reminder for those employers whose business it is to serve Thanksgiving turkey to customers or clients, but also for the average household. In either setting, getting food poisoning makes it tough to be in a celebratory mood and results in less than popular stories told for years to come!
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that annually in the U.S. 76 million people get food poisoning and the illness accounts for $1 billion in medical costs and lost work time.
So, skip dishing up food poisoning this holiday by following some basic rules of thumb that include temperature, bacteria control and cooking times.
- Thawing. Avoid food borne bacteria by thawing turkey in refrigerator, cold water or microwave.
- Preparation. Bacteria from raw turkey can be spread from hands to anything touched afterwards—utensils, work areas, other food. Wash hands after working with raw turkey.
- Stuffing. Cook stuffing separately from the bird. If you choose to stuff the bird, stuff before cooking and cook stuffing until it reaches 165 degrees.
- Cooking. Put completely thawed turkey breast side up in an oven at no less than 325 degrees. Cooking times will vary. Cook until food thermometer reads 165 degrees when placed in breast, thigh or wing joint.
Learn more about cooking turkey: Center for Disease Control: It’s Turkey Time!
In closing, we at MEMIC hope you have a most enjoyable holiday with a savory meal done to perfection.