As we all prepare for the holidays the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has released guidelines for enjoying the holiday while avoiding food-borne illnesses. Here are a few tips from Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden, MD MPH:
• Keep packages of frozen poultry or meat frozen until ready to thaw. Turkey should not be cooked from a frozen state. Thaw poultry or meat in the refrigerator on tray (to catch raw drippings). Allow 24 hours of thawing for every 5 pounds of turkey.
• If a microwave is used to thaw a turkey, the turkey must be cooked immediately. Do not return the turkey to the refrigerator. Use a food thermometer to ensure that all parts of the turkey are cooked to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Turkey and stuffing should be cooked separately. If poultry giblets or other chopped meats are used to season the stuffing; cook the stuffing so that all parts are heated to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. (If the turkey has a “pop-up” temperature indicator, it is also recommended that a food thermometer be used to test all parts of the turkey to ensure that it is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit).
For more Thanksgiving safety tips, including preventing burns and fire safety information click here.