Whether you’re a pro at hosting the Thanksgiving meal or this will be your very first time, it’s important to follow and practice food safety tips, especially when poultry and stuffing are involved.
Cooking a turkey requires planning and preparation; get started using these tips from the USDA.
- Buy the turkey a few days before you plan to cook it.
- Refrain from buying a pre-stuffed turkey.
- Remember that thawing the turkey takes 24 hours in the refrigerator for every four to five pounds, and cold water thawing takes 30 minutes per pound.
- Be sure the turkey is completely thawed before cooking.
- Set the oven temperature no lower than 325 ºF.
- Place turkey breast-side up on a flat wire rack in a shallow roasting pan 2-2 1/2 inches deep.
- Cook stuffing in a casserole for optimum safety.
- Check the internal temperature with a food thermometer and ensure it is at least 165 ºF.
- Let the bird sit for 20 minutes before removing stuffing and carving.
The Partnership for Food Safety Education has a special section devoted to stuffing in their Talking Turkey guide.
- Cook all stuffing and dressing to a minimum temperature of 165 ºF, whether it is cooked inside or outside the bird. For optimum safety, cooking your stuffing in a casserole dish is recommended.
- Prepare and put stuffing in the turkey immediately before it’s placed into the oven.
- Mix wet and dry ingredients for the stuffing separately and combine just before using.
- Stuff the turkey loosely, about 3/4 cup stuffing per pound of turkey.
- Bake any extra stuffing in a greased casserole dish.
Need more tips for preparing your feast? Call Butterball’s hotline at 800-288-8372, text them at 844-877-3456, or visit their website. Check out the Oakland County Health Division website for additional food safety tips.