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www.wmfd.com - Many families will sit down to one of the most important meals of the season, Thanksgiving and if they stick with tradition, there will be plenty of turkey on the table, but like any fowl, the turkey must be prepared properly, in order to avoid illnesses. }}" />

   
 
 
Cooking Turkey Safely Discussed In The Health Minute

Story By: Larry Stine

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 11/28/2013 Many families will sit down to one of the most important meals of the season, Thanksgiving. And if they stick with tradition, there will be plenty of turkey on the table. But like any fowl, the turkey must be prepared properly, in order to avoid illnesses. So what's the best way to cook a turkey and how should leftovers be handled? Here's Holly Firfer with today's Health Minute. Thanksgivng dinner, a time for family, friends and, of course, turkey. Whether you are a gourmet chef or a turkey novice, cooking the bird properly is key to a healthy holiday. When preparing a turkey, you need to be aware of four safety issues: thawing, preparing, stuffing and cooking to adequate temperature. Thawing turkeys must be kept at a safe temperature. The "danger zone" is between 40 and 140 degrees farenheit, the temperature range where foodborne bacteria multiply rapidly, so let it thaw in the refrigerator, not out on the counter. When it comes to cooking the turkey, set the oven temperature no lower than 325 degrees. Check the internal temperature as you cook it. It must reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees farenheit. "My recommendation is that you really buy a $2 or $3 meat thermometer, digital preferred and you use that as your test to make sure that you are in the temperature range," says Mike Golino, registered dietician at Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center. And make sure you check the temperature in the correct spot. "You are probably going to check right in between the leg and cavity of the body and also in the thickest part of the breast," says Folino. One the meal is over, don't leave food out for more than two hours and make sure the leftovers are stored in the refrigerator. But remember, their shelf life is short. "You don't keep the turkey more than three to four days," says Folino. All helpful turkey tips for a healthy, happy holiday.
   
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