2018-10-13 https://totallychefs.com/articles/7-commonly-asked-thanksgiving-food-safety-questions TotallyChefs 448 448 Jennifer The memories of Thanksgiving are near and dear to the hearts of many. The smell of the turkey, the taste of pumpkin pie, and the sound of laughter filling

7 Commonly Asked Thanksgiving Food Safety Questions

7 Commonly Asked Thanksgiving Food Safety Questions

shared by Jennifer

1.How do I thaw a turkey?

Turkey, as well as other meats and poultry, can be a main contributor to food poisoning at the holidays if handled incorrectly. The first step in preparing your turkey is to thaw it properly. Never thaw a turkey on the counter overnight. This will allow the food to be in the Temperature Danger Zone too long. Pathogens can grow to dangerous levels and make your friends and family sick.

Instead, follow the proper turkey-thawing guidelines outlined in our Thanksgiving Thaw article. Here are some general guidelines for thawing your turkey in the fridge:

  • 5 pounds: 1 day
  • 10 pounds: 2 days
  • 15 pounds: 3 days
  • 20 pounds: 4 days

The rule of thumb for thawing a turkey is to give one day of thawing for every five pounds of turkey. Once your turkey is thawed, be sure to cook it within a day or two.

2. What temperature does turkey need to be cooked to?

When cooking your turkey, be sure to cook it at temperatures above 325°F (163°C). When the turkey is cooked, use a meat thermometer to ensure it has reached an internal temperature of 165° F (74° C), the proper temperature for poultry to be cooked to. Make sure to stick your meat thermometer in the thickest parts of the turkey (the thickest part of the breast, innermost part of the thigh, and innermost part of the wing) to make sure it is fully cooked.

3.How long can I leave Thanksgiving food out?

Cold foods, such as salads and cut vegetables, should be kept under 41°F (5°C). According to the 2013 FDA Food Code, cold foods can be held up to 6 hours as long as their temperature does not reach above 70°F (21°C). It is recommended that these foods be put in the refrigerator after 2 hours.Keeping foods out for too long encourages bacteria growth that could potentially make people sick.

5.Should I let my leftovers cool off or put them straight in the fridge?

As soon as the meal is finished, put the leftover food in the refrigerator. Do not allow your food to cool to room temperature before putting it in the fridge. The goal is to keep the food at room temperature for the least amount of time possible.

6. How should I store my Thanksgiving leftovers?

Instead of throwing all the turkey or casserole in a deep container, choose a large, shallow container or several small containers. This allows for the food to cool down quickly when put in the refrigerator. If the inside of your refrigerator begins to get too warm, put ice inside to cool it back down.

7.How long will Thanksgiving leftovers last?

No one likes to waste food, but there comes a point when food must be thrown out. Most foods can be kept up to 3-4 days after they are made. Freezing food is a good option if you have more leftovers than you can eat in the next few days. Freeze food in airtight containers to prevent freezer burn. If you suspect the food has started to spoil, throw it away. As the saying goes, when in doubt, throw it out.

Following these guidelines will help keep you and your friends and family safe during the holidays.