Keep Meals Secure this Thanksgiving Vacation

Washington, November 7, 2022 – Fill your bellies with turkey and keep away from meals poisoning this Thanksgiving vacation. The US Division of Agriculture (USDA) reminds us all that it is essential to recollect the procedures to make sure meals security throughout America’s largest meal.

“The 4 steps to making sure meals security — clear, separate, prepare dinner, and funky — are essential every single day, each meal, however particularly at Thanksgiving,” mentioned USDA Deputy Undersecretary Sandra Eskin. has plenty of friends and many good meals, however you do not wish to invite meals poisoning micro organism Comply with these 4 steps, particularly remember to make use of a meals thermometer, in order that Thanksgiving Dinner shall be protected.”

Comply with these tricks to maintain your Thanksgiving celebration meals protected.

cleansing and disinfection

Hand washing is step one in stopping meals poisoning. Wash your arms with cleaning soap and water for at the very least 20 seconds earlier than, throughout, and after dealing with meals. A current examine discovered that 97% of individuals within the USDA check kitchen have been unable to scrub their arms correctly. Listed here are the steps for hand washing:

  • Moist your arms with clear operating water.
  • Lather your fingers with cleaning soap.
  • Rub the soapy arms and fingers collectively for at the very least 20 seconds. Rinse arms with clear operating water.
  • Dry your arms with a clear towel or allow them to air dry.

Clear and disinfect surfaces that got here involved with uncooked turkey and its juices, in addition to surfaces that can are available contact with meals later, comparable to kitchen counters, sinks, stoves, and tabletops.

keep away from cross contamination

Cross-contamination is the unfold of micro organism from uncooked meat or poultry to ready-to-eat meals, surfaces, and utensils. A method round that is to make use of separate slicing boards. One for uncooked meat and poultry and one for fruit and greens. Our current survey discovered that the sink is essentially the most polluted spot within the kitchen. The USDA recommends not washing uncooked poultry as a result of danger of spreading micro organism all through the kitchen.

Safely defrost a turkey

Don’t defrost the turkey in boiling water or place it on the counter. There are 3 ways to soundly thaw turkey: fridge, chilly water, and microwave.

  • Thawing within the Fridge: Turkey is protected to thaw within the fridge, so you possibly can defrost it slowly and safely. If thawing within the fridge, wait about 24 hours for each 4-5 kilos of turkey. After thawing, turkey is protected within the fridge for 1-2 days.
  • Chilly Water Thawing: The chilly water thawing technique will defrost the turkey sooner, however requires extra care. When thawing in a chilly water tub, wait half-hour per pound and place the turkey in its unique packaging to keep away from cross-contamination. submerge. Change the water each half-hour till the turkey is thawed. Turkey ought to be cooked instantly after thawing.
  • Microwave Thawing: To defrost a microwave-safe turkey, comply with the producer’s suggestions. Cook dinner instantly after defrosting, as some components of the meals might develop into sizzling throughout the defrosting course of, begin cooking, and transfer the meals into the “hazard zone.”

You possibly can safely prepare dinner a complete frozen turkey. Nonetheless, it takes at the very least 50% longer to totally prepare dinner.

to prepare dinner totally

Turkey is fit for human consumption when the inner temperature reaches 165 levels Fahrenheit. Verify the inner temperature by inserting meals grade thermometers into the thickest a part of the breast, the innermost a part of the wing, and the innermost a part of the thigh. The USDA recommends utilizing a meals thermometer to verify it hits 165 F in his three aforementioned places, even when your turkey has a pop-up temperature indicator.

stuff a turkey

The USDA doesn’t advocate stuffing turkeys because it usually results in bacterial development. Nonetheless, should you’re stuffing a turkey, comply with these steps.

  • Individually put together moist and dry elements for stuffing and refrigerate till prepared to make use of. Combine moist and dry elements simply earlier than filling hen cavity.
  • Don’t stuff entire poultry and maintain it within the fridge earlier than cooking.
  • Loosely stuff the turkey—about 3/4 cup stuffing per pound.
  • Instantly place the stuffed uncooked turkey in an oven set at 325 levels Fahrenheit or larger.
  • Stuffed turkey takes a very long time to prepare dinner. After cooking, place a food-grade thermometer within the heart of the stuffing to verify it reaches a protected inner temperature of 165 levels Fahrenheit.
  • Let the cooked turkey stand for 20 minutes, then take away the stuffing.

For extra info on turkey stuffing, see Turkey Fundamentals: Stuffing.

2 hour rule

Do not go away meals out for too lengthy. All perishable meals ought to be refrigerated at room temperature inside 2 hours of cooking, or 1 hour if the temperature is 90 F or larger. After two hours, perishable meals enter the “hazard zone” (between 40°F and 140°F). Micro organism can develop quickly there and meals can develop into unsafe. Discard all meals that sits for greater than 2 hours. Bear in mind the principles — maintain sizzling meals cold and warm meals chilly.

  • Transporting Scorching Meals — Wrap dishes in insulated containers to maintain temperatures above 140 levels Fahrenheit.
  • Chilly Meals Transport — Place gadgets in coolers with ice or gel packs to maintain them under 40 F.

When serving meals to teams, use friction plates or cooking pots and ice dice trays to maintain sizzling meals cold and warm meals chilly. Scorching gadgets above 140°F and chilly gadgets under 40°F should be saved


Put the leftovers in a small shallow container and put it within the fridge. Thanksgiving leftovers are fit for human consumption within the fridge for as much as 4 days. Within the freezer, leftovers may be safely frozen indefinitely whereas sustaining peak high quality for 2-6 months.


For Thanksgiving meals security questions, name the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or e-mail or reside chat at from 10am to 6pm. Japanese time, Monday by way of Friday.

Have a final minute Turkey Day query? The meat and poultry hotline shall be open from 8am to 2pm EST on Thanksgiving Day.

Try the USDA FoodKeeper app. This helps cut back meals waste by offering meals and beverage storage info. Entry information releases and different info on the USDA’s Meals Security and Inspection Service (FSIS) web site at Comply with FSIS on Twitter. or in spanish:

USDA touches the lives of all People every single day in so many constructive methods. Within the Biden-Harris administration, USDA is remodeling America’s meals system, specializing in extra resilient native and regional meals manufacturing. A fairer marketplace for all producers. Guarantee entry to protected, wholesome and nutritious meals in all communities. Construct new markets and revenue streams for farmers and producers utilizing climate-smart meals and forestry practices. Making historic investments in infrastructure and clear vitality capabilities in rural America. We promise fairness throughout the sector by eradicating systemic boundaries and constructing a extra consultant American workforce. For extra info, please go to


USDA is an equal alternative supplier, an employer, and a lender.

Author: ZeroToHero

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