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Turkey Basics - #htt by West Park Hospital

Turkey Basics - #htt by West Park Hospital

*(Cody, Wyo.) *- Thanksgiving is a time to offer thanks, spend time with family and stuff our bellies full of turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie! When preparing your Thanksgiving meal, remember these simple turkey basics: thawing, preparing, stuffing and cooking! *Here is your Health Tip Tuesday (#htt)! * *Safe Thawing* - Thawing turkeys must be kept at a safe temperature. The "danger zone" is between 40 and 140°F — 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. For instructions, see "Safe Methods for Thawing;" instructions are also available in Spanish. Frozen turkeys should not be left on the back porch, in the car trunk, in the basement, or any place else where temperatures cannot be constantly monitored. - *Refrigerator Thawing *- When thawing a turkey in the refrigerator: Plan ahead: allow approximately 24 hours for each 4 to 5 pounds in a refrigerator set at 40 °F or below. Place the turkey in a container to prevent the juices from dripping on other foods. - *Refrigerator Thawing Times* - Whole turkey: 4 to 12 pounds — 1 to 3 days;12 to 16 pounds — 3 to 4 days;16 to 20 pounds — 4 to 5 days; 20 to 24 pounds —5 to 6 days. A thawed turkey can remain in the refrigerator for 1 or 2 days before cooking. Foods thawed in the refrigerator can be refrozen without cooking but there may be some loss of quality. - *Cold Water Thawing* - Allow about 30 minutes per pound. First be sure the turkey is in a leak-proof plastic bag to prevent cross-contamination and to prevent the turkey from absorbing water, resulting in a watery product.Submerge the wrapped turkey in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. Cook the turkey immediately after it is thawed. Cold Water Thawing Times: 4 to 12 pounds — 2 to 6 hours; 12 to 16 pounds — 6 to 8 hours; 16 to 20 pounds — 8 to 10 hours; 20 to 24 pounds — 10 to 12 hours. A turkey thawed by the cold water method should be cooked immediately. After cooking, meat from the turkey can be refrozen. - *Microwave Thawing* - Follow the microwave oven manufacturer's instruction when defrosting a turkey. Plan to cook it immediately after thawing because some areas of the food may become warm and begin to cook during microwaving. Holding partially cooked food is not recommended because any bacteria present wouldn't have been destroyed. A turkey thawed in the microwave must be cooked immediately. *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 Cooking* - Set the oven temperature no lower than 325°F 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 165°F. Let the turkey stand 20 minutes before removing all stuffing from the cavity and carving the meat. For more information on safe internal temperatures, visit FoodSafety.gov's Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures. *Thanks for the Thanksgiving Safety tips West Park Hospital!* #news #health #reboot