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Nov 23, 2015 3:35 PM

4 easy tips for safe turkey cooking and preparation this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is not only about making a delicious tasting turkey, but also safely making and serving the bird.

According to the Center for Disease Control, there are four easy steps to ensure a safe Thanksgiving meal preparation.

Safe Thawing

Thawing turkey must be kept at a safe temperature. Any temperature between 40 and 140 degrees is considered a 'danger zone' for thawing poultry because of the risk of foodborne bacteria. The CDC suggests keeping the turkey below 35 - 40 degrees for the safest thawing.

Safe Preparation

Bacteria on raw turkey can easily spread throughout the kitchen to utensils, pans and more. If these materials are not properly cleaned before and after the meal preparation, it can cause severe sickness. Make sure everything that touches raw turkey is washed with warm, soapy water.

Safe Stuffing

According to the Center of Disease Control, cooking the stuffing outside of the turkey in a casserole dish is the best. If you decide to cook the stuffing inside the turkey, you should do so just before cooking the bird and use a food thermometer to make sure the center of the stuffing reaches 165 degrees.

Safe Cooking

Set the oven to no lower than 325 degrees and make sure the turkey is completely thawed before going in the oven. Place the turkey breast-side up on a flat wire rack. Most importantly the food thermometer must reach at least 165 degrees before it is done cooking. When you take the bird out, make sure it sits for at least 20 minutes.

For more on food safety around the holidays, check out the CDC's website.

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