Avoid Thanksgiving Food Poisoning
I recently just dealt with a go 'round of food poisoning from some hummus. There was a recall... I devoured it before the email even made it to the inbox. Oops. Now with that being fresh on my mind, I do not want anyone to deal with all that on Thanksgiving!
Here are four food safety tips to help make sure you don't end up with the same crud I had floating around my system on Thanksgiving, or from eating all of the wonderful leftovers:
1. Don't rinse the turkey before you cook it. Any salmonella that's on there won't be a problem as long as you cook it long enough. Washing poultry just sprays the bacteria around the sink and makes you more likely to get sick.
2. Don't defrost it at room temperature. The only safe ways to do it are in the refrigerator, the microwave, or a bucket of cold water while the turkey's still wrapped in plastic. The refrigerator is the safest, but takes a few days. The bucket of water method takes about 30 minutes per pound.
3. Don't just trust the red pop-up timer that comes with the turkey. Also use a meat thermometer to make sure it's done. Test the three thickest areas: the inner thigh, the wing, and the thickest part of the breast. They should all be at least 165 degrees.
4. Don't store food outside, even if it's freezing out. Some people end up with a full refrigerator, and put the overflow outside in plastic containers. Whichmake sense if it's freezing out. Thats what the settlers did right? They only lived til the average of 27-35 so keep that in mind. But plastic Tupperware can heat up really fast if the sun hits it. Trust me, I know too well... ask me about my melted peanut butter sandwiches sometime.
5. Don't eat leftover turkey more than four days after Thanksgiving. That's when things start to get weird. So either eat it all within four days, or freeze what's left. It'll stay good for up to four months in the freezer.
Don't forget to make a Thanksgiving sandwich either! Bread with Mayo, stuffing, cranberry sauce and the turkey. Maybe somebody... will save me one?