Cooking a Thanksgiving Turkey Safely

(Park HIlls, MO) With the Thanksgiving holiday this month it's a great idea to review some food safety tips for cooking the big bird. A Registered Dietician, and Food Education Specialist, with the St. Francois County Health Center, Breanna Griffin, says there are several steps you need to take to be safe in the kitchen a you prepare the meal and properly thawing the turkey out is the first step.

Griffin explains the one thing you don't want to do is place the turkey out and let it thaw on the counter. She adds a thawing turkey must defrost at a safe temperature. when the turkey is left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours, its temperature becomes unsafe. bacteria can grow rapidly in the “danger zone” between 40°f and 140°f. Griffin also says follow the four steps to food safety including proper cleaning, keep the turkey away from other foods , cook it safely, and chill it to prevent the spread of bacteria to your food, family, and friends. While cooking Griffin says to make sure the turkey has reached a safe internal temperature of 165°f.