Ag Weekly: Be safe when you eat your feast

Ag Weekly: Thanksgiving food safety
Published: Nov. 22, 2023 at 5:31 AM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - There’s perhaps no bigger meal than the traditional Thanksgiving feast. And it’s important to prepare your food safely to avoid causing illness to yourself or your guests.

The Food and Drug Administration says to get that turkey defrosting but do it the right way.

The refrigerator is the safest bet, but a 20-pound turkey, for example, takes four or five days to thaw completely. So, if you need to thaw it in a pinch, you can use the microwave or put it under cold running water, but don’t leave it sitting out at room temperature because bacteria can form.

Once your turkey is cooking, the FDA reminds us that color is not a reliable indicator for doneness and that you should use a food thermometer. A turkey is safe when the temperature reaches 165 degrees.

When it’s time to eat, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends serving one pound of turkey per person. Turkey contains tryptophan, which makes you sleepy. But it would take eight pounds of turkey meat to lull you into a food coma.

When the dinner is done, there are more rules for food safety. The FDA says food should be refrigerated within two hours of being set out and leftovers should be eaten within four days.

Have a safe and tasty thanksgiving!