Cathy Isom has five food safety tips you need to know before starting to cook that holiday meal. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
Here are five things to remember that will guarantee a stress-free and food borne illness-free Thanksgiving this year.
Tip # 1 – Don’t wash that Turkey. The USDA does not recommend washing raw meat and poultry before cooking because doing so can cause bacteria to spread up to three feet away. Whether you bake, broil, boil, fry or grill your meat and poultry to the right temperature it will kill any bacteria that may be present, so washing isn’t necessary.
Tip # 2 – Use the refrigerator, the cold-water method or microwave to defrost a frozen turkey.
Tip # 3 – Always use a meat thermometer. Your thermometer should register 165-degrees Fahrenheit in three locations of your Thanksgiving bird: the innermost part of the thigh, the innermost part of the wing and the thickest part of the breast. A food thermometer is the best way to ensure your turkey is cooked, but not overdone.
Tip # 4 – never store food outside even if it’s cold. The best way to keep that extra Thanksgiving food at a safe temperature is in a cooler with ice.
Tip # 5 – Only keep the leftovers in your fridge for up to four days. Or, pack them into freezer bags or airtight containers and freeze. For best quality, use your leftover turkey within four months.