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Prepare your turkey safely this Thanksgiving

POSTED: Monday, November 19, 2012 - 6:11pm

UPDATED: Monday, November 19, 2012 - 6:25pm

We are days away from Thanksgiving.

Many of us are already thinking about we are going to make a perfect Thanksgiving dinner.

We aren't thinking about food safety, we are just think about the feast.

KETK spoke to Sara Upson, Registered Dietitian, My Signature Nutrition, about food safety. Upson says,  there are only three ways to defrost your turkey.

"There are only three safe ways to correctly defrost your turkey for Thanksgiving and 1 in 4 Americans admit to de-frosting their turkey the incorrect way," says Sara Upson, Registered Dietitian, My Signature Nutrition.

The Department of Agriculture reports, the three ways are: Refrigerator, Cold Water, and Microwave.

"So not the counter or under hot running water," says Sara Upson, Registered Dietitian, My Signature Nutrition.

If you choose to thaw your turkey in the refrigerator, allow one day for every 4-5 pounds of bird. A 16-20 turkey would require 3-4 days.
If you choose cold water, allow 30 minutes per pound.

The water must be changes every 30 minutes and must be cooked immediately after thawing.When using a microwave to the thaw the turkey, the report suggest you read the owner's manual for the size for proper settings.

Upson says, when cooking your turkey, set the oven no lower than than 300 degrees F.
It's also important to use a thermometer to check the temperature. The internal temperature of the turkey must reach 165 degrees F.

Upson adds, you cannot safely refrigerate or refreeze a raw turkey after thawing. It's important to think about food safety before serving.

Storing your Thanksgiving leftovers is also important to think about.

We have food displayed on counters for several hours during and after our feast. Is it ok?

Department of Agriculture reports:
-Leftovers should be reheated to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. 
-Leftovers should not be left out more than two hours.
-Refrigerated turkey should be eaten within 3-4 days.
-Stuffing and gravy should be eaten within 1-2 days.
-Casseroles and cooked vegetables should be eaten within 3-4 days.
-Fruit and cream pies should be eaten within 2-3 days.

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