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HomeFOOD & DIET7 Expert Tips for Safely Thawing Your Thanksgiving Turkey |

7 Expert Tips for Safely Thawing Your Thanksgiving Turkey |


A Thanksgiving feast is hardly complete without the main course, and for many families, that includes a turkey centerpiece. An estimated 88 percent of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving, according to the University of Illinois Extension. This year, that number may be lower due to a turkey shortage brought on by an avian flu outbreak, as Forbes reports, while other families may opt to choose a different main dish for Thanksgiving due to rising turkey prices as a result of inflation.

If you can get your hands on a turkey this Thanksgiving or Christmas, it’s important to follow the recommended food handling guidelines to help prevent foodborne illness. In this article, food safety experts share their dos and don’ts for thawing a turkey smartly, so you can keep yourself — and your friends and family — safe and healthy.

1. Do Wash Your Hands Before and After Handling Raw Poultry

“Before and after handling raw poultry, it’s very important to wash your hands with soap and water,” says Britanny Saunier, executive director at the Partnership for Food Safety Education in Arlington, Virginia.

Cleanliness is a large part of preventing foodborne illness, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Wash your hands with warm, soapy water for about 20 seconds before and after handling the turkey. This also applies to surfaces that may come in contact with frozen turkey, such as countertops, kitchen towels, cutting boards, food thermometers, and utensils.




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