Mastering turkey safety this Thanksgiving

Posted: 23 November 2023 | | No comments yet

To mark Thanksgiving, New Food is sharing insight on best practices when purchasing and preparing turkey to serve to your loved ones this holiday season.


Happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers in the US and Canada! However you may be celebrating this year, New Food is here to bring you some tips straight from the National Turkey Federation (NTF) to assist in making your holiday feast a success.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has estimated that Americans consume more than 46 million turkeys on Thanksgiving Day each year, with the symbolic meat often being the centre piece of the holiday table for families across North America.

Offering expert advice on selecting and preparing the centrepiece of the Thanksgiving table, NTF’s food safety tips and comprehensive guide, “Thanksgiving 101,” revealed how to purchase and prepare turkey while keeping food safety in mind every step of the way.

Speaking on the availability of turkey in the US this year, Joel Brandenberger, NTF President said: “Thanks to the hard work of US turkey producers, there will again be an ample supply of turkeys available for Thanksgiving,” 

“Turkey products are available for purchase in most grocery stores and supermarkets, and many retailers are already offering special discounts and attractive prices on whole turkeys this Thanksgiving.”

To allow for a food safe celebration, the NTF has outlined four key practices:

  • Clean: Wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Ensure surfaces are clean both before and after handling raw turkey.
  • Separate: Prevent cross-contamination by using different cutting boards to separate raw turkey from produce and other items you are preparing.
  • Cook: Cook your turkey to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F as measured by a food thermometer. Cooking to the proper temperature will kill all bacteria with absolute certainty.
  • Chill: Chill leftovers immediately and use or freeze leftovers within three to four days.

As an extra tip, the NTF has explained that consumers should “never rinse your turkey” as it can spread bacteria that might be present around the kitchen.

How well was your Thanksgiving turkey treated?

For more food safety tips and tricks, including how to expertly thaw a turkey, how to impress your guests with your carving skills, and temperature control information, explore more on the NTF website.

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