by Sublette County Cooperative Extension Service
November 15, 2011
The holiday season has arrived and so has listeria in cantaloupes, E. Coli in ground beef and salmonella in nuts and dog food. The holidays are about spending time with family and food is a central focus at many holiday gatherings. It is no surprise during this busy time that many cooks take short-cuts. Therefore, Wyomingís Poison Center sees an increase in food-borne illnesses during the holidays. The major source of food poisonings is from improper handling, preparation, cooking and storage.
Here are some suggestions to make your holidays safe.
DO keep turkey in its original wrapping, refrigerated until ready to cook.
DO wash hands with soap and water for at least 15-20 seconds before preparing food.
DO defrost a frozen turkey by refrigeration or cold running water.
DO allow one day for every 5 pounds to defrost in the refrigerator. In a cold water bath, change the water every 30 minutes. A 20 pound turkey will take 12 hours to defrost in cold water.
DO use a meat thermometer to check if turkey is done. The turkey should cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
DO remove the stuffing immediately after the turkey is cooked.
DO store the turkey and stuffing separately.
DO store leftover turkey in the refrigerator and use within 3-4 days.
DO store leftover stuffing and gravy in the refrigerator and use within 1-2 days.
DONíT defrost a turkey at room temperature. Bacteria can multiply to unsafe numbers on outer layers before inner layers have defrosted.
DONíT leave an uncooked thawed turkey out of the refrigerator longer than 2 hours.
DONíT partially cook the turkey one day and continue roasting the next day.
DONíT prepare food if you are sick or have any nose or eye infection.
DONíT leave leftovers out on the counter longer than 2 hours.
DONíT store leftover stuffing in the turkey.
DONíT re-freeze a completely thawed uncooked turkey.
DONíT stuff turkeys as it makes it difficult for the internal temperature to reach 165įF within a safe period of time. If you must stuff your turkey, stuff it lightly before cooking and leave room for the oven to cook the interior of the turkey and stuffing.
If you have any questions regarding Food Nutrition and/or Food Safety, please contact the University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service FCS Educator, Jennifer Jacobson at 307-733-3087 or the Sublette County University of Wyoming Extension Office at 307-367-4380. Happy Holidays!
Wyomingís Poison Center offers tips on Thanksgiving safety and poison prevention as a free service to the public. For more information, contact the Poison Center by calling toll-free at 1-800-222-1222. Sponsored by the Nebraska Medical Center, University of Nebraska Medical Center and Wyoming Department of Health Office of Emergency Medical Services.