POSTED: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - 5:01pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - 5:15pm
LOWER VALLEY - Thanksgiving...a time for loved ones to gather 'round and feast...and you want to make sure your bird and leftovers are in tip top shape to prevent any illnesses.
"One of the important factors in controlling food born illnesses is time and temperature," said Javier Barron.
Fresh turkeys should be bought one to two days before you plan to cook it, frozen turkeys require a little more preparation.
"Properly thawing out your turkey...never do it at room temperature."
Javier barron is certified in food safety and has over thirty years of experience. Barron told us you want to allow about 24 hours for every four to five pounds of turkey while thawing it in the refrigerator.
"Place it always on the lowest bottom area of your fridge, and all your ready to eat products goes above that product."
It's very important to remember: Never thaw your turkey on the counter. Leaving your turkey out can cause bacteria like Salmonella to form.
"Another method would be cold running water."
If you choose this method, the water needs to be changed every thirty minutes to prevent bacteria from forming.
When your bird is ready to cook, Barron says the internal temperature needs to reach a minimum of 165 degrees or above.
"We're talking about the internal cooking temperature of the turkey, not your oven temperature or your fryer temperature."
After all the prepping and loved ones have feasted, you may be stuffed, but it's important to get your leftovers off the table and into the fridge within two hours after eating to prevent bacteria.
Refrigerated leftover turkey should be eaten within three to four days and if frozen, consume within six months.
Remembering these little tips can keep from spoiling your holiday.