Getting shed isn"t the just thing to worry around when it concerns cooking your turkey this Thanksgiving.

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Cooking a turkey bring away a lot of preparation and if the turkey isn"t save on computer or cooking correctly, human being may unintentionally make their guests or family members sick, follow to Tina Hanes, a technical info specialist through the United says Department of agriculture meat and poultry hotline.

"We gain hundreds of call from human being who aren"t certain if the turkey is spoiled or if it"s been in the fridge as well long," she said.

Remember, Thanksgiving must look like this:

Not this:

Here"s a guide you deserve to use come ensure that your family and also friends don"t mental the year you held Thanksgiving together the year everyone gained sick.

1. Thawing the turkey and also the two-day rule

Buying her turkey early? much better keep her bird frozen till you are ready to thaw or you might be top top your way to the grocery save for a new one, according to Hanes.

"Once a frozen turkey is thawed, it must be cooked within 2 days," Hanes said. She stated some human being prefer a fresh turkey, for this reason they should arrangement on waiting to choose it increase from the keep until one or 2 days prior to they plan to chef it.

It takes 24 hours for every four to 5 pounds the turkey to thaw, according to the USDA.

USDA accuse guidelines on refrigerator thawing times:

4 come 12 pounds — 1 come 3 days12 come 16 pounds — 3 come 4 days16 to 20 pounds — 4 to 5 days20 to 24 pounds —5 to 6 days

You have the right to thaw her turkey in the refrigerator, or if you room strapped because that time, you deserve to use the microwave or operation cold water end the wrapped bird in a sink.

2. How do I understand if the turkey is spoiled?

Maybe you left her turkey in the refrigerator for a week, or it satellite in your trunk in the garage for a few hours, regardless you have to be wary of using the product.

Many times people can phone call if a turkey is spoiled by the "texture and smell" of the turkey. Hanes stated the skin the the turkey may become slimy, and also the odor is often defined as "rotten eggs or choose sulfur."

It smells a small strange...

It gets trickier v detecting foodborne pathogens, according to Hanes.

"You can"t see, taste or odor foodborne pathogens, therefore if E. Coli, Salmonella or Staph are on the turkey, girlfriend wouldn"t recognize it," she said.

3. To to wash or not to wash?​

Don"t wash your turkey. If many people might think that rinsing the turkey will eliminate bacteria native the bird, nothing could be farther from the truth, follow to the USDA.

"Juices the splash during washing deserve to transfer bacteria ~ above the surface of your kitchen, various other foods and also utensils. This is called cross-contamination, which have the right to make you and your guests an extremely sick," according to the USDA.


Make sure that all surfaces and also plates the come into contact with the raw turkey space sanitized and make certain to wash your hands.

4. Doesn"t matter if that wiggles, or jiggles like it should, the bird needs to be 165 degrees

Regardless of whether her turkey is the perfect the shade of brown or if the drumsticks jiggle, the bird is no safe until it reaches 165 degrees, follow to the USDA. Usage a food thermometer to examine the bird in 3 places: the thickest part of the breast, the innermost parts of the wing and also the bird"s thigh.

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5. No, we aren"t done yet. Leftovers:

Leftovers have to be refrigerated in ~ two hrs of eating and also should be for sure for 3 to four days after your meal. If friend freeze her turkey, it must be yes sir for two to 6 months.