Protecting Against Food Borne Illness

November 25, 2014 at 10:15 am Leave a comment

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and it is important to use safe food handling practices to prevent illness in the midst of festivities.  We all know the basics, such as washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before you begin any food preparation, but what about the proper way to thaw a frozen turkey?  Well, there are three ways:

  1. In the refrigerator: Allow 24 hours for every 4-5 pounds of turkey.  This means it can take up to 5 days to thaw a 16-20 pound bird! Plan ahead.
  2. In cold water: The turkey must be completely sealed in plastic, and allow 30 minutes for every pound.  Change the water every 30 minutes while thawing, then be sure to cook the turkey as soon as it is completely thawed.  Since even a 12 pound turkey can take from 6-8 hours to thaw using this method, once again, plan ahead.
  3. In the microwave: First, make sure the turkey will actually fit.  Then refer to your owner’s manual to determine the time and power level required per pound of bird.  Remove all the outside wrapping and any wire that might be holding its legs.  Cook immediately after thawing.  Do not refrigerate or refreeze any part of the turkey after thawing in the microwave.

Remember to wash hands, surfaces, utensils, and anything else that may have come in contact with the raw turkey or its juices with soap and water to help prevent cross contamination with other foods and to prevent bacterial growth such as salmonella.

As for the stuffing, make sure it’s being cooked to the proper temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit (especially if it’s cooked inside the turkey, which should also reach that temperature).

Throw away any leftovers that have been unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours.  Refrigerated leftovers should be tossed after 3-4 days.  Frozen leftovers should be used within 2-6 months.

Happy Thanksgiving from everyone on the DiabetesAmerica Team!

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Entry filed under: Diabetes, Health. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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