Thanksgiving is here…how are we going to cook the turkey this year? Should we try deep frying? How about some new sides? Since sriracha is the new black..could we add it to one of our dishes? How about salty caramel ice cream for desert? So many things to consider..So many exciting new dishes to try.  Without putting a damper on things, or taking the fun out of Thanksgiving and the four day weekend it brings to all of us sleep deprived beings, here’s something that doesn’t get considered enough.  Turkey could contain Salmonella, the way we thaw and prepare the turkey BEFORE cooking is extremely important ..so if Turkey with a side of salmonella is NOT on your list of hip new recipes to try this year, what needs consideration and planning is how will the turkey be thawed.

Turkeys are safe while frozen, however once they begin to thaw, if any bacteria was present before freezing, it could start to grow again. To prevent that from happening proper food safety procedures must be observed.

STEP 1: once a frozen turkey has been purchased, that turkey must be brought home and put back in the freezer.  Even if it is cold outside, do not store it on your porch, your balcony or in your car.

STEP 2: Before taking the turkey out of your freezer, you MUST HAVE A PLAN.   Following proper thawing procedures will ensure that your turkey will not be served with a side of salmonella and your guests will get to enjoy the fabulous salty caramel ice-cream you so thoughtfully chose for dessert.  The following are your 3 options, choose one:

Safe ways to thaw a turkey:

    • Refrigerator Thawing: if using this method remember to put the turkey in a container so that there are no juices from the turkey spilling on other foods.
    • Cold Water Thawing: Turkey should be wrapped in a leak proof bag before submerging the Turkey in the water.  Otherwise the turkey will absorb the  water making it taste watery.  The leak proof bag will also keep the juices in, which will prevent cross contamination.  If using this method, plan on cooking the turkey immediately after it is thawed.
    • Microwave thawing: Plan on cooking the turkey immediately after.

****Thawing time will depend on the weight of the turkey.  Click on the link for more information.

Have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving from all of us at Letter Grade Consulting.