Safely Cooking Thanksgiving Turkeys

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It’s hard to believe Thanksgiving is next Thursday. That means it’s time to start thinking about cooking the turkey right now. The Centers for Disease Control warns that many people get mild cases of food poisoning on Thanksgiving Day. There are several things you need to do before you even begin to cook the turkey. When buying a turkey, a fresh turkey lasts one to two days in the refrigerator. A frozen turkey lasts 12 months in the freezer. When thawing a turkey, allow 24 hours for every five pounds for turkeys kept in the refrigerator. Allow one hour for every four pounds for turkeys kept in cold water. Do not thaw turkeys on the counter. There are several ways to safely cook the turkey: roasting, grilling or deep frying. The important factor is to cook the flesh to the proper temperature. The USDA changed the temperature guidelines for safely cooking poultry last year and now recommends cooking the turkey meat to 165 degrees. You can safely stuff a roasted turkey, but you must follow the guidelines to avoid illness.