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Turkey Safety Advice

Avoid food safety concerns by baking your turkey and dressing in separate pans.

Turkey handling instructions

  • Follow all basic food safety guidelines.
  • Keep food at proper temperatures.
  • Thaw turkey according to safe and acceptable thawing methods.

 

Stuffing & gravy safety

  • Serve dressing and gravy warm at the table.
  • Refrigerate dressing and gravy no longer than 1 to 2 days at 40 degrees F
    or slightly below.
  • Freeze dressing and gravy no longer than 1 month at 0 degrees F or below.

 

Safe stuffing instructions

  • The easiest way to avoid food safety concerns is to cook your turkey empty and bake the dressing in a separate pan in the oven.
  • But if you traditionally serve a stuffed turkey, use an instant-read meat thermometer and follow these guidelines closely for best results.
  • Stuff the turkey just before you place it in the oven. Use about 3/4 cup dressing per pound of bird.
  • Stuff the bird just before baking. Do not refrigerate the turkey after stuffing; cook immediately.
  • If you make the dressing ahead, be sure to refrigerate it separately from the turkey.
  • Bake any extra stuffing in a covered baking dish, along with turkey, for the last 35 minutes of cooking time.
  • Use moderate, not high, temperatures to roast the bird. At 325 to 350 degrees F, the turkey will cook slowly enough so that the internal temperature of the dressing (at the thickest part) reaches 165 degrees F.
  • When the turkey is done, remove the dressing from turkey and place it in serving bowl. After dinner is over, separate the dressing and turkey in separate containers and refrigerate or freeze right away.

 

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