With just over a week until the Thanksgiving Holiday it’s a good idea to review the steps you need to take to ensure food safety. Frozen raw turkey should be stored in the freezer until you are ready to thaw it. Make sure your freezer is at 0˚F or below. Don’t store a turkey in a place where you can’t closely monitor the temperature, such as in a car trunk, a basement, the back porch, or in snow.
- Thaw your turkey in the refrigerator.
- Keep your turkey in its original wrapping and place it in a container before putting it in the refrigerator. The container will prevent the turkey juice from dripping on other food.
- Allow about 24 hours of thawing for each 4 to 5 pounds of turkey.
- A turkey thawed in the refrigerator can remain in the refrigerator once it’s been thawed for 1 to 2 days before cooking.
You can also thaw your turkey in cold water or in the microwave – but you must cook it immediately in either case.
Never thaw your turkey by leaving it out on the counter. A turkey must thaw at a safe temperature. When a turkey stays out at room temperature for more than 2 hours, its temperature becomes unsafe even if the center is still frozen. Germs can grow rapidly in the “danger zone” between 40°F and 140°F.