How To Safely Cook Your Turkey This Christmas, A Microbiologist Reveals

Every year at Christmas time, families enjoy a joyous and traditional feast, the piece de resistance of which is often the turkey. However, cooking the perfect big bird can be a challenge, with seasoning and serving methods among the key considerations.

How To Safely Cook Your Turkey This Christmas

Dr McMullen said that thawing at the wrong temperature would lead to organisms growing that could make you sick.

1. Thaw Your Turkey At The Right Temperature

“You want to thaw it where it’s cold, where it stays cold,” she said. “So, I’ll typically take a turkey out a week before I want to cook it and I put it in my fridge. ... And then it slowly thaws out.”

1. Thaw Your Turkey At The Right Temperature

Apart from ensuring no bacteria grow on the turkey, this method helps to keep your fridge cold as the icy bird thaws. As such, this saves you energy.

1. Thaw Your Turkey At The Right Temperature

“Any cold poultry bird is washed by the processor right before it’s packaged,” Dr McMullen said. “So, when you take it out of the package and you put it in the sink and wash it, what you actually end up doing is spreading any contamination that might be on it in your kitchen.

2. Never Wash Poultry

“So, it increases the risk that you’ll contaminate something else that you’ll eat without cooking.”

2. Never Wash Poultry

When cooking your turkey, it’s important to use this to make sure it is cooked through and safe to consume. Dr McMullen said: “Put the thermometer into the thickest part of the breast or into the thigh and make sure it gets to about 77 degrees C (170°F) as an internal temperature.”

3. Use A Thermometer

We generally avoid poultry if it has a pink hue, fearful of catching salmonella and other diseases from uncooked meat.

4. Pay Attention To The Juices That Are Coming Out Of The Cooked Turkey

As we wine and dine, many of us leave our Christmas food on the table for hours, planning to come back for seconds. However, Dr McMullen said it was not safe to leave leftovers of turkey out for more than two hours.

5. Don’t Let Your Leftovers Sit On The Table For More Than Two Hours

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