Have You Been Thawing Your Turkey Correctly? – Halloween has officially come and gone… meaning the holidays and good eating are right around the corner! As you make preparations for a delicious holiday feast, follow these food handling safety tips to avoid getting sick. Find out more right here on Newsymom!
This is Public Health is brought to you in partnership with the Tuscarawas County Health Department.
Ahh, November… We’re all saying goodbye to those bikini-ready bodies (just ’til the New Year, anyway) and getting pumped up for all the delicious foods the holiday season has to bring. As we all start making our holiday menu preparations, it’s time to take note of food handling safety! Let’s ensure no one gets sick from the lovely assortment of main entrees, side dishes, and desserts the holiday season has to offer.
Hacks for Thawing Your Turkey!
There are three solid ways to thaw your turkey safely, and a bonus fourth way if you’re lazy…like us:
Thaw in the refrigerator
You can thaw and store your Big Bird in the refrigerator. Allow 24 hours for every 4-5 pounds of bird needed to thaw. You can store your turkey for 1-2 days in the refrigerator after it’s been thawed. This is also the USDA’s recommended way of thawing out your turkey!
Thaw in cold water
Thaw your bird submerged in a large bowl or pot of cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes! (If lazy, leave a slow cold water drip in the sink…) Once thawed, cook right away.
Defrost that bird in the microwave
There’s a reason your microwave has a “defrost” option… so use it! The defrost method goes according to weight and will auto-calculate how long it needs to thaw. Once it’s thawed, cook that bad boy right away.
Bonus hack for us lazy ones: Cook that turkey frozen.
Yes, you read that right. You can cook a frozen turkey! It just takes about 50% longer… who cares if there’s enough wine and Hulu to keep you occupied!
Meal Prepping Tips
When you’re prepping all of your meals, keep these tips close to heart:
Wash your hands often. Please.
Separate your foods! Use separate prep areas for raw meats, vegetables, etc.
Heat kills germs! Once you cook food, it needs to stay hot. Here are the temps to keep in mind:
- Beef, Pork, Lamb 145 °F
- Fish 145 °F
- Ground Beef, Pork, Lamb 160 °F
- Turkey, Chicken, Duck 165 °F
Put foods in the fridge as soon as possible when not being eaten.
- Within two hours for all foods cooked or bought from the store. (Within 1 hour if it’s 90 degrees or hotter… but that won’t happen here in Ohio in November!)
- Marinate your foods in the fridge!
The gals at the Tuscarawas County Health Department know exactly what it takes to keep you all safe for holiday eating! Check out their tips and tricks for staying safe this holiday eating season:
The Tuscarawas County Health Department will help keep you and your family safe this holiday season. Call them at (330) 343-5555 x. 100 or visit them at www.tchdnow.org to see what services they offer for you and your family.
Make sure to follow along on Facebook (@tchdnow) for the latest holiday news and safety tips to keep you in your wintery best!