Simple Ways to Safely Prepare a Turkey on Thanksgiving


Nothing’s more disastrous than improperly prepared dishes on Thanksgiving. Holiday poultry staples like turkey and chicken can cause serious foodborne diseases when not properly handled. In fact, a recent survey revealed that Thanksgiving dinner hosts find it difficult to properly cook the turkey. If this is your first time to host a Thanksgiving dinner, now is the perfect time to have a turkey handling safety refresher so you can have an enjoyable holiday with the whole family.

Keep these safety tips in mind when preparing a turkey for an enjoyable Thanksgiving

If you’re one of the many people who plan to avoid the Thanksgiving rush, you’ll likely buy a frozen turkey and store it inside the freezer until the time you’re ready to cook it. Depending on the size of the turkey, it could take several hours or days to properly thaw it. The worst thing you can do is to cook your turkey without properly thawing it.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you have three options to prevent harmful bacteria from spreading before cooking your turkey: (1) You can put it inside a container and set aside inside the fridge; (2) put it inside a leak-proof plastic bag and soak it in a basin with cold water (replace the water every 30 minutes); or, (3) you can use your microwave oven. When thawing in the microwave oven, it’s important that you carefully follow the instructions set by the microwave oven manufacturer.

Harmful bacteria can rapidly grow and contaminate the surroundings if you will leave the turkey on your kitchen counter to thaw for more than two hours.

When preparing poultry products, it’s important that you always practice cleanliness to prevent bacteria-causing food toxins from contaminating other foods. Make sure to wash your hands properly with soap and water before and after preparing your turkey. Moreover, you must clean all the utensils and countertop before preparing other dishes. Cooking should immediately follow once you’ve properly thawed and prepared your turkey.

Without any preheating procedure, put your turkey inside the oven with a minimum temperature set at 325°F. The approximate cooking time usually depends on the weight of your turkey. To make sure that your turkey is evenly cooked, insert a food thermometer in the center and in different parts of the turkey to determine if it has reached an internal temperature of 165°F.

Turkey Galantine with Mole is one of the popular recipes you may want to try to prove to your family that you’re an adult this coming Thanksgiving. Because this recipe requires stuffing ingredients inside the turkey, you must thoroughly cook the stuffing as well. Whether you’re going to cook the stuffing separately in a casserole or inside the turkey cavity, the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service can give you detailed advice on how to safely prepare and cook stuffing.

Keep any leftovers inside the fridge

Clostridium perfringens is the second most common type of food poisoning bacteria that develops in cooked foods that are left at room temperature for several hours. To prevent bacterial outbreaks during the holiday season, you need to immediately put leftovers inside the fridge with a temperature set at 40°F or colder. It’s often ideal to slice the turkey into small pieces before putting it inside the fridge. If you need to serve leftovers again, you need to reheat it to at least 165°F.

Happy Thanksgiving in advance from your RPM Mortgage family!

Here at RPM Mortgage, we want you and your family to have an enjoyable Thanksgiving celebration by making sure you properly cook your turkey and other sumptuous dishes. You may find the tips here handy as you avoid the shopping rush during the holiday season.