Need Turkey Help?

— Written By Christa Gibson
en Español

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The holidays are a great time to enjoy family and fellowship. But turkey time should also be food safety time! Thankfully, North Carolina Cooperative Extension is here for you, with lots of tips for keeping your turkey cooking safe. Below are a few turkey tips from our Associate Family & Consumer Sciences Agent Peggy Kernodle.

  • The USDA recommends that the safest thawing of turkeys is in a refrigerator.
  • Allow frozen turkeys one day per five pounds weight to thaw in the  refrigerator. An extra day is a good idea! Thawed turkeys are fine refrigerated a few days after thawed.
  • Do NOT rinse thawed poultry before placing it in the oven.
  • It is best to cook your stuffing separately, as opposed to cooking it inside of the turkey.
  • Check the turkey’s temperature in three spots to make sure it has an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees: at the thickest part of the breast; the innermost part of the wing; and the innermost part of the thigh.

You can call Peggy at the Durham Cooperative Extension Office at 919-560-0523, to talk turkey! To learn more about keeping your holidays free of foodborne illness, check out the NC State University Cooperative Extension’s Holiday Food Safety page.