By John Havel
It's time to talk turkey. If you're cooking one for the first time
this Thanksgiving or even if you've cooked one before, do you know
if you're preparing it safely?
Raw or undercooked meat and poultry may contain harmful bacteria,
and therefore improper thawing, handling, cooking or storing of that
Thanksgiving bird can put hosts and dinner guests at risk for food
poisoning. Here is a top 10 list of common mistakes people make when
preparing a holiday turkey.
1. Buying fresh turkeys too early. If you want fresh, don't buy it
more than 2 days prior to Thanksgiving. You can only keep a fresh
turkey refrigerated 1 to 2 days before cooking. (However, a whole
frozen turkey can be stored in your home freezer at 0 degrees for
up to 1 year.)
2. Cross contamination. Don't put raw meat or poultry with raw
vegetables. Although you may not intentionally have these items in
contact, if it happens, there is high risk of cross contamination,
that can spell food poisoning. Make sure to wash your hands and the
food preparation surface thoroughly in-between preparing the turkey
and a salad, for example.
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