If you’re cooking the turkey you’ll want to make sure you don’t get – or give your guests – food poisoning. So, here’s how to prevent contamination in your kitchen.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says you should not wash nor rinse a turkey before cooking, as poultry juices can contaminate other foods, utensils, and countertops or cutting boards, if they’re spread in the kitchen.
You should also wash your hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds, before and after handling poultry.
And use a separate cutting board (not wood – it can harbor bacteria unless disinfected with boiling water), dishes or utensils – wash separately everything the raw turkey touches.
Also, the turkey should never be thawed by leaving it out on the counter; as it can become unsafe to consume at certain temperatures. This is due to bacteria growth, with the “danger zone” between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Instead, thaw your turkey in the refrigerator in a container; in a leak proof-plastic bag in a sink of cold water (change the water every half hour); or in the microwave.
Also, be sure to make sure all your Thanksgiving side-dishes reach the recommended internal temperatures.
- The CDC says you should NOT wash your turkey before cooking it, as that can spread contaminants around your kitchen—they also say you should never thaw your turkey on the counter – use separate cutting board and utensils