Here are some cooking tips that I gave out last year to help everyone have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.
1. Fully defrost your turkey before cooking it. This may take 2-3 days.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), "When thawed correctly in the refrigerator or at a temperature of no more than 40 F, a 20-pound turkey needs two to three days to thaw completely. Thawing the turkey completely before cooking is important. Otherwise, the outside of the turkey will be done before the inside, and the inside will not be hot enough to destroy disease-causing bacteria."
2. Cook your turkey until it reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees.
Make sure when inserting the thermometer that it is not touching a bone as this will artificially raise the temperature.
3. It is safest to cook stuffing outside the bird but if cooking it in the bird be sure the stuffing reaches a temperature of 165 degrees.
4. Refrigerate hot food being made in advance immediately.
Do not let it cool to room temperature before putting it in the fridge. Although this is a common practice, it allows bacteria to grow.
5. Avoid cross contamination by designating one knife, cutting board and sponge to be used only for raw meat.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!!!!