5 Tips to Avoid Poisoning Your Thanksgiving Guests

Unless, of course, you want to poison them, in which case, wash that turkey bird
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2016 8:19 PM CST
Turkey, preferably without a side of botulism.   (AP Photo/Bree Fowler)

(Newser) – It's almost Thanksgiving, that special time of year in which Americans join hands around a dead stuffed bird, imbibe copious amounts of alcohol, argue politics, field invasive questions from boundaryless relatives, and give thanks that the holiday is annual rather than quarterly. Or maybe that's just our house. Regardless, if you'd prefer to spend the holiday arguing with Uncle Leonard about who you voted for or why you're still single instead of projectile vomiting, the USDA has these five handy tips for how to avoid food-poisoning for everyone:

  1. Never wash a turkey. We get it: Turkeys seem like something that might bear a rinse, and 68% of you do. What you're really doing is spreading bacteria in a three-foot radius. Just cook the turkey to temp and you'll be fine.

  1. Defrost the turkey in the fridge: And give it 24 hours for every 5lbs of gobbler. You can also do it by submerging Tom in cold water (changing the water every half-hour), or in the microwave (see your owner's manual).
  2. Speaking of your fridge, use it: To store leftovers. Do not put them outside, no matter how cold it is.
  3. Speaking of leftovers, they're good for four days when stored in the aforementioned fridge: No, there is no two-week rule.
  4. Speaking of your meat thermometer ... Oh. We weren't speaking of your meat thermometer: But if we were, you should have one and know how to use it. Which is to stab your turkey in the innermost thigh, the innermost wing, and the thickest part of the breast. If you're 165 degrees in all three places, the turkey may be served.
The full USDA list. (Read more Thanksgiving stories.)

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