Don’t be a turkey with food safety

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November 19, 2019 - 9:44 AM

Take steps to keep your food safe to eat at Thanksgiving. WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

The shorter, darker days of fall have some of us thinking about the next thing to look forward to and for many, that’s Thanksgiving Day.

Sharing a meal of traditional foods, such as turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie and even adding something new to the menu is a way to connect with family and friends on a uniquely American holiday. Kansas State University consumer food safety specialist Londa Nwadike has tips to help ensure a good holiday by keeping those foods safe.

Turkey — Buy your turkey from a reputable source. Frozen turkey must be thawed in the refrigerator or in cold water, not on the kitchen counter. In the refrigerator, allow 24 hours of thawing time for every five pounds of turkey. In cold water, allow about 30 minutes thawing time per pound of turkey and change the water every 30 minutes to ensure that the outer layer of turkey will not get warm enough to support microbial growth. Turkey and other meats should not be rinsed before cooking as that will only spread those germs around the sink, which can cross-contaminate other foods. Any bacteria that might be rinsed off the surface would be easily killed by cooking in the oven.

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