Turkey Tips – to keep your family safe.

It’s important to use proper cooking and prep measures to ensure a healthy dinner.   NSF International has put together this list of tips that you should follow over the holidays…. keep this handy as you prepare the meal…or bug your sister or mother as THEY cook if you are lucky!!

1. Don’t let uncooked turkey sit at room temperature. Shop for a turkey last and get it home and refrigerated promptly. Bag the turkey separately and place it below other food in the refrigerator.

2. Don’t attempt to thaw a frozen turkey quickly by leaving it sit overnight on a kitchen counter. Use one of the following methods:

  • a. Option I – Place a covered turkey in a shallow pan on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator.
  • b. Option II – Completely submerge the turkey under a stream of cold (70°F) running water.

3. Never place the turkey directly on the counter; keep it on a platter or in a roaster. Clean and sanitize the counter and utensils after handling raw turkey.

4. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw turkey, using plenty of warm water and soap

5. Use a thermometer to check for doneness, even if the turkey has a pop-up timer. It is best to check that the turkey has reached 165°F in multiple spots, including the thickest part of the thigh to ensure doneness.

6. If the bird is stuffed, also check the temperature of stuffing to ensure it, too, has reached 165 °F.

7. Wait to stuff the turkey until right before putting it in the oven. For those wanting to prepare stuffing ahead of time, the USDA recommends preparing separate dishes with the wet and dry ingredients and keeping them refrigerated, then mixing the ingredients together just before stuffing the turkey. As a reminder the stuffing should be cooked until it reaches at least 165° F at the center.

8. Once the temperature has reached 165 °F throughout the turkey, it should stand for at least 15-20 minutes before carving.

9. Refrigerate any leftovers immediately. Large portions should be separated into smaller containers and covered loosely to speed cooling.

To help you with your cooking, the NSF is giving away a roasting pan, thermometer and cool apron which I totally rock BTW….

To win it, just tell me which tip above caught your eye, surprised you the most, or made an impact on you!

That’s all, and I’ll pick a winner Monday November 22 at NOON…

CLOSED

Winner


85 Comments on Gaggle 2: Turkey Safety Tips from NSF International and GIVEAWAY~~

  1. john
    November 22, 2010 at 1:25 pm (7 years ago)

    i should remember this one –Don’t let uncooked turkey sit at room temperature

  2. gala
    November 22, 2010 at 1:24 pm (7 years ago)

    i was surprise by this one — Refrigerate any leftovers immediately. I thought it better let food to cool down

  3. DanV
    November 22, 2010 at 12:58 pm (7 years ago)

    This tip is a good one – It is best to check that the turkey has reached 165°F in multiple spots

  4. kathy pease
    November 22, 2010 at 12:55 pm (7 years ago)

    i like the tip 7. Wait to stuff the turkey until right before putting it in the oven. For those wanting to prepare stuffing ahead of time, the USDA recommends preparing separate dishes with the wet and dry ingredients and keeping them refrigerated, then mixing the ingredients together just before stuffing the turkey. As a reminder the stuffing should be cooked until it reaches at least 165° F at the center.

    I have never been sure of when you are supposed to do this thanks for the info :)

  5. Deb K
    November 22, 2010 at 12:35 pm (7 years ago)

    The pop up timer is my favorite tip

    deb55106{at}gmail{dot}com

  6. tallcapp
    November 22, 2010 at 12:13 pm (7 years ago)

    The below is a great idea. I know most people just check the bird like I do.

    6. If the bird is stuffed, also check the temperature of stuffing to ensure it, too, has reached 165 °F.

  7. Jennifer Jozwiak
    November 22, 2010 at 11:28 am (7 years ago)

    remember to check the temp of the stuffing!

  8. carol lewis
    November 22, 2010 at 11:21 am (7 years ago)

    Let the bird stand for fifteen minutes before carving it.

  9. Joanne
    November 22, 2010 at 10:27 am (7 years ago)

    I like the tip about leaving it on the bottom shelf…makes good sense!

  10. dddiva
    November 22, 2010 at 10:24 am (7 years ago)

    Wait to stuff the turkey until right before putting it in the oven. For those wanting to prepare stuffing ahead of time, the USDA recommends preparing separate dishes with the wet and dry ingredients and keeping them refrigerated, then mixing the ingredients together just before stuffing the turkey. As a reminder the stuffing should be cooked until it reaches at least 165° F at the center.

    I don’t stuff the turkey but most people I know that do have the stuffing fully made up and ready to put in the bird instead of separating the ingredients. I’ll pass this along.

    Thanks for the great tips.

  11. Veronica Garrett
    November 22, 2010 at 10:14 am (7 years ago)

    No. 6 If the bird is stuffed, also check the temperature of stuffing to ensure it, too, has reached 165 F surprised me. I never thought about checking the temperature of stuffing.

  12. fat mama cass
    November 22, 2010 at 5:27 am (7 years ago)

    The tip #5 impressed me the most, The pop-up timer doesnt mean everything it seems.
    5. Use a thermometer to check for doneness, even if the turkey has a pop-up timer. It is best to check that the turkey has reached 165°F in multiple spots, including the thickest part of the thigh to ensure doneness.

  13. brian e.
    November 22, 2010 at 5:05 am (7 years ago)

    Thanks for the giveaway…”Defrosting / Option II – Completely submerge the turkey under a stream of cold (70°F) running water.” is a version of what our family does: submerge in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes or so…until defrosted.

    senorpiero [at] yahoo [dot] com

  14. Justine
    November 22, 2010 at 4:53 am (7 years ago)

    6. If the bird is stuffed, also check the temperature of stuffing to ensure it, too, has reached 165 °F caught my eye, I never thought of checking the stuffing before!

  15. Gianna
    November 22, 2010 at 4:45 am (7 years ago)

    Use a thermometer to check for doneness, even if the turkey has a pop-up timer. It is best to check that the turkey has reached 165°F in multiple spots, including the thickest part of the thigh to ensure doneness.

    Very good tip.

  16. Darcy B
    November 22, 2010 at 4:13 am (7 years ago)

    6. If the bird is stuffed, also check the temperature of stuffing to ensure it, too, has reached 165 °F.—I ‘ve never even thought about it–makes sense.

  17. Laura Emerson
    November 22, 2010 at 3:04 am (7 years ago)

    I didn’t know that you should let it sit 15-20 minutes after it is done. I always try and get it to the table right away as I thought you could not let it sit out that long. This year I am going to use this tip!

  18. Alison
    November 22, 2010 at 3:03 am (7 years ago)

    Letting the turkey stand outside of the oven for 15-20 min is near impossible in my house, lol. We try but we don’t always make it that long. ;)

    THANK YOU!

  19. Michelle Tucker
    November 22, 2010 at 2:41 am (7 years ago)

    I hadn’t thought about “Completely submerge the turkey under a stream of cold (70°F) running water.” Thanks for the tip!
    michedt (at) gmail (dotcom)

  20. Pamela S
    November 22, 2010 at 1:56 am (7 years ago)

    I didn’t know I was supposed to test the temperature of the stuffing too! (which I can’t do anyway since I don’t have a kitchen thermometer LOL)

    Thanks.

  21. Sarah Z
    November 22, 2010 at 1:31 am (7 years ago)

    Never thought about ensuring the dressing was the right temp too~
    Thanks

  22. Kate
    November 22, 2010 at 1:03 am (7 years ago)

    I like this one: Once the temperature has reached 165 °F throughout the turkey, it should stand for at least 15-20 minutes before carving!

  23. Storm
    November 22, 2010 at 12:29 am (7 years ago)

    Bag the turkey separately -I’m guilty of not doing this. I usually just place it on a shallow dish on the bottom of the fridge.

  24. Catherine
    November 21, 2010 at 11:15 pm (7 years ago)

    “…it should stand for at least 15-20 minutes before carving.” (in our house, the ladies do the roasting and the men do the carving, and since, by then, they are starving, they never let the turkey stand that long. :-)

  25. Val Pearson
    November 21, 2010 at 11:12 pm (7 years ago)

    I think #1 Don’t let uncooked turkey sit at room temperature. Shop for a turkey last and get it home and refrigerated promptly. Bag the turkey separately and place it below other food in the refrigerator.

    I know all about turkey safety (I mean as far as bacteria lol) but I think if it’s frozen, I tend to set it on the counter and then forget about it. :)

  26. Tonya Dean
    November 21, 2010 at 10:25 pm (7 years ago)

    #6. I never even thought of checking the temperature of the stuffing.

  27. Angela Winesburg
    November 21, 2010 at 9:52 pm (7 years ago)

    6. If the bird is stuffed, also check the temperature of stuffing to ensure it, too, has reached 165 °F – Great point, thanks!

  28. kerri w
    November 21, 2010 at 9:25 pm (7 years ago)

    i like the Completely submerge the turkey under a stream of cold (70°F) running water. tip.

  29. Erin E
    November 21, 2010 at 8:55 pm (7 years ago)

    Option 1 impacted me as I never remember to put the bird in a shallow pan, I just put it right in the fridge. So thank you for that tip! Thank you for the lovely giveaway.
    sewmuchstuff at ymail dot com

  30. Kristy
    November 21, 2010 at 8:04 pm (7 years ago)

    to thaw a turkey quickly submerge it unde rcold running water.

  31. Paula Hafner
    November 21, 2010 at 7:51 pm (7 years ago)

    #5 Use a thermometer to check for doneness, even if the turkey has a pop-up timer. It is best to check that the turkey has reached 165°F in multiple spots, including the thickest part of the thigh to ensure doneness.

  32. Diane Baum
    November 21, 2010 at 7:08 pm (7 years ago)

    Thank you for the tip ( which I didn’t know) don’t place the turkey on the counter

  33. charline
    November 21, 2010 at 3:01 pm (7 years ago)

    Tip 8 I learned something I didn’t know you should wait 10 or 15 minutes after taking turkey out oven to carve it.

    stanleybilly(at)bellsouth(dot)net

  34. Sharon
    November 21, 2010 at 1:40 pm (7 years ago)

    As I read your tips I kept thinking of the lackadaisical way I’ve handled turkey in the past (thawing on the counter overnight, not being super-careful about washing after handling, etc) and wondered at how no one ever got sick. I like the ‘thaw under cold running water’ suggestion and will try that next time I’m rushed for time.

  35. Melissa
    November 21, 2010 at 10:36 am (7 years ago)

    Let the turkey stand 15 minutes before carving.

  36. Kristie
    November 21, 2010 at 8:46 am (7 years ago)

    The tip I learned was 8. Once the temperature has reached 165 °F throughout the turkey, it should stand for at least 15-20 minutes before carving.

  37. Debbie C
    November 21, 2010 at 3:05 am (7 years ago)

    The tip I needed most was the proper “cook to” temperature. I can never remember it!

  38. Michelle
    November 21, 2010 at 2:00 am (7 years ago)

    The tip that helped me the most is don’t cook the stuffing inside the turkey. Thanks for the giveaway.

  39. Mary Ward
    November 21, 2010 at 1:59 am (7 years ago)

    I had never even thought to check the temperature of the stuffing. It makes so much sense!

  40. michele
    November 21, 2010 at 1:46 am (7 years ago)

    Thank you for the giveaway. Don’t let the turkey sit at room temp. I didn’t know this until a couple years ago, yikes!
    mrsmiki77 (AT) gmail (DOT) com

  41. karen M
    November 21, 2010 at 12:05 am (7 years ago)

    checking the temperature of stuffing has reached 165 °F, never knew this. I always checked the meat temperture and just assumed the stuffing was the same temp. thanks for the great tips.

  42. Jammie
    November 20, 2010 at 11:32 pm (7 years ago)

    With cooking Turkey dinner for many years, I didn’t know we should let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes before carving. We always carve pretty much as soon as it comes out of the oven. Guess we will be waiting.

  43. Vicky
    November 20, 2010 at 8:17 pm (7 years ago)

    Use a thermometer to check for doneness, even if the turkey has a pop-up timer. It is best to check that the turkey has reached 165°F in multiple spots, including the thickest part of the thigh to ensure doneness.

    That surprises me the most because I always go by the pop up timer

  44. Stacy
    November 20, 2010 at 8:14 pm (7 years ago)

    I like “Don’t attempt to thaw a frozen turkey quickly by leaving it sit overnight on a kitchen counter”

  45. Sue Farrell
    November 20, 2010 at 7:28 pm (7 years ago)

    Use a thermometer to check the temperature even if the turkey has a pop up thermometer—I just never would have thought to do this.

  46. Rachel Higgs
    November 20, 2010 at 5:40 pm (7 years ago)

    Don’t attempt to thaw a frozen turkey quickly by leaving it sit overnight on a kitchen counter. Use one of the following methods:

    * a. Option I – Place a covered turkey in a shallow pan on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator.
    * b. Option II – Completely submerge the turkey under a stream of cold (70°F) running water………
    This means the most to me because people just do not realize how dangerous it is when food sits in the temperature danger zone to long.
    crazyred61 at yahoo dot com

  47. Sharold
    November 20, 2010 at 3:53 pm (7 years ago)

    I like hint #8. Once the temperature has reached 165 °F throughout the turkey, it should stand for at least 15-20 minutes before carving.

    samf36 ( at) gmail.com

  48. Theresa D
    November 20, 2010 at 9:08 am (7 years ago)

    Tip #5 is a great tip.

  49. Amy Weas
    November 20, 2010 at 7:54 am (7 years ago)

    U like the tip: 5. Use a thermometer to check for doneness, even if the turkey has a pop-up timer. It is best to check that the turkey has reached 165°F in multiple spots, including the thickest part of the thigh to ensure doneness.

    Good idea to check several areas for a more accurate reading. Thanks for the great tips!

  50. Holly W.
    November 20, 2010 at 2:09 am (7 years ago)

    If the bird is stuffed, also check the temperature of stuffing to ensure it, too, has reached 165 °F….I never thought about the stuffing being at a certain temperature.

  51. Monique Rizzo
    November 20, 2010 at 1:22 am (7 years ago)

    I was surprised that you should still use a thermometer to check doneness even if the turkey has a pop up timer.
    Thanks for the chance.
    mogrill@comcast.net

  52. Stephanie V.
    November 20, 2010 at 1:17 am (7 years ago)

    Wait to stuff the turkey until right before putting it in the oven. For those wanting to prepare stuffing ahead of time, the USDA recommends preparing separate dishes with the wet and dry ingredients and keeping them refrigerated, then mixing the ingredients together just before stuffing the turkey. As a reminder the stuffing should be cooked until it reaches at least 165° F at the center.
    tvollowitz at aol dot com

  53. Audrey M
    November 20, 2010 at 12:07 am (7 years ago)

    I liked the tip about waiting to stuff the turkey :) Thankyou

  54. Richard T.
    November 19, 2010 at 11:48 pm (7 years ago)

    Wait to stuff the turkey until right before putting it in the oven.

  55. Dee
    November 19, 2010 at 11:04 pm (7 years ago)

    Don’t attempt to thaw a frozen turkey quickly by leaving it sit overnight on a kitchen counter.

  56. Christine
    November 19, 2010 at 9:40 pm (7 years ago)

    don’t cook the stuffing inside the bird

  57. Rebecca Peters
    November 19, 2010 at 9:27 pm (7 years ago)

    I never even thought of this…6. If the bird is stuffed, also check the temperature of stuffing to ensure it, too, has reached 165 °F. Now I know :)

  58. phxbne
    November 19, 2010 at 6:48 pm (7 years ago)

    Use a thermometer to check for doneness, even if the turkey has a pop-up timer.

  59. joni taylor
    November 19, 2010 at 4:32 pm (7 years ago)

    don’t place the turkey directly on the counter
    joni(dot)taylor3710 at gmail dot com

  60. Kimberly
    November 19, 2010 at 3:28 pm (7 years ago)

    This tip surprised me the most: One way you can unthaw a frozen turkey is to completely submerge the turkey under a stream of cold (70°F) running water.

    I always thought you weren’t supposed to run it under water, I didn’t realize it was o.k. if it was cold water.

  61. McKim
    November 19, 2010 at 3:26 pm (7 years ago)

    I was surprised by: Use a thermometer to check for doneness, even if the turkey has a pop-up timer.

  62. Sue E
    November 19, 2010 at 3:21 pm (7 years ago)

    The turkey should stand for at least 15-20 minutes before carving. I’ve been going from oven to table!

  63. Denise B.
    November 19, 2010 at 1:55 pm (7 years ago)

    None of these tips caught my eye, but I don’t check the temperature of the stuffing; because I know that for as long as the turkey has to be in the oven to be thoroughly cooked the stuffing has sufficiently cooked through and is hot enough to be safe.

  64. Linda
    November 19, 2010 at 12:49 pm (7 years ago)

    I learned something new from tip #6. If the bird is stuffed, also check the temperature of stuffing to ensure it, too, has reached 165 °F. I have always checked the temp. of the bird never thought to check the temp. of the stuffing too.

  65. anna t.
    November 19, 2010 at 12:08 pm (7 years ago)

    Once the temperature has reached 165 °F throughout the turkey, it should stand for at least 15-20 minutes before carving.

  66. Amber
    November 19, 2010 at 10:45 am (7 years ago)

    Awesome tips! A lot of these I had no idea about. I especially appreciated the tip about not stuffing the turkey until right before it is cooked. Thanks!

  67. Shanda J
    November 19, 2010 at 9:54 am (7 years ago)

    I thought it was a good idea to break down large portions of leftovers to speed cooling. That would also help when serving leftovers late at night or the next day.
    diamond42377 AT gmail DOT com

  68. debra b
    November 19, 2010 at 9:38 am (7 years ago)

    Tip #6 was something I didnt know

    I never realized that you need to check the temp of the stuffing, I always assumed if the turkey’s temp was correct then it must all be done, guess I need to start checking that too,

    thanks for the giveaway

  69. EMMA L HORTON
    November 19, 2010 at 8:33 am (7 years ago)

    Bag the turkey separately and place it below other food in the refrigerator….I DIDN’T KNOW TO PLACE IT BELOW THE OTHER FOOD

  70. Tari Lawson
    November 19, 2010 at 8:03 am (7 years ago)

    The one that surprised me most was 6. If the bird is stuffed, also check the temperature of stuffing to ensure it, too, has reached 165 °F. I never would have thought to check the temp of the stuffing.

  71. Momma Cupcake
    November 19, 2010 at 3:07 am (7 years ago)

    I definitely like the thawing ideas because I am always last minute with the turkey!

  72. shelly
    November 19, 2010 at 1:15 am (7 years ago)

    I liked the tip about checking the temperature of the stuffing.

  73. Chris N
    November 18, 2010 at 11:35 pm (7 years ago)

    Refrigerate any leftovers immediately. This is always something that is hard to do. Our family likes munching on leftovers during the big games.

  74. Carol Harrity
    November 18, 2010 at 11:03 pm (7 years ago)

    I think the most interesting information was that you should let the turkey sit for 15 to 20 minutes before carving. This is great info.

  75. Mary M
    November 18, 2010 at 10:46 pm (7 years ago)

    I do not stuff my turkey. I cook my stuffing/dressing in a separate pan. However, I did not know you would need to check the temperate of the stuffing.

    6. If the bird is stuffed, also check the temperature of stuffing to ensure it, too, has reached 165 °F

  76. Donna L
    November 18, 2010 at 10:35 pm (7 years ago)

    I like the tip: Once the temperature has reached 165 °F throughout the turkey, it should stand for at least 15-20 minutes before carving.. Thanks

  77. Theresa H
    November 18, 2010 at 9:45 pm (7 years ago)

    #8 is a great reminder. Thanks!!!

  78. Valerie C.
    November 18, 2010 at 9:26 pm (7 years ago)

    I’m guilty of relying on the pop-up timer….I really need to get a thermometer….I didn’t know about the 165 degrees. Thank you!

  79. Cee
    November 18, 2010 at 8:57 pm (7 years ago)

    This tip, “If the bird is stuffed, also check the temperature of stuffing to ensure it, too, has reached 165 °F” most caught my eye. We always stuff our turkey, and rarely check that temp! I am so glad we’ve never had food poisoning! Knock on wood, of course! :)

  80. Melanie B
    November 18, 2010 at 8:40 pm (7 years ago)

    this since I usually don’t cook the stuffing inside the bird

    If the bird is stuffed, also check the temperature of stuffing to ensure it, too, has reached 165 °F.

  81. NICHOLAS ELIAS NIEVES
    November 18, 2010 at 7:08 pm (7 years ago)

    LET THE BIRD STAND FOR 15 MINUTES BEFORE CRAVING

  82. patrick m
    November 18, 2010 at 5:54 pm (7 years ago)

    Don’t leave the turkey on the counter to let thaw overnight.

  83. Rebecca Graham
    November 18, 2010 at 5:42 pm (7 years ago)

    I liked the tip: Completely submerge the turkey under a stream of cold (70°F) running water.

  84. Stephanie
    November 18, 2010 at 4:45 pm (7 years ago)

    “Don’t place the turkey directly on the counter” Good tip! Thanks.

  85. Terri Dell
    November 18, 2010 at 3:29 pm (7 years ago)

    6. If the bird is stuffed, also check the temperature of stuffing to ensure it, too, has reached 165 °F
    I didn’t know that – scary to think about someone getting sick from it.