Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and as it does families across the country will gather for that traditional turkey dinner.

Ashley White, Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences at the Caldwell County Extension Office, is reminding family cooks of several tips to help keep your family safe from food borne illnesses this Thanksgiving holiday.

Ashley says that if you plan on buying a fresh turkey, do so no earlier than two days before you plan on eating it. If you plan on going the frozen route, turkeys can be bought well in advance but be sure to use the proper steps to thaw the meat. 

Ashley highly recommends using the refrigerator or a sink full of cold water to thaw the turkey, but if you decide to use the microwave be sure to consult your microwave manufacture’s directions on thawing meat. Ashley also says to never allow poultry to thaw at room temperature. If meat is left to thaw anywhere between 40 and 140 degrees it falls within the danger zone where bacteria can multiply extremely quickly.

Ashley says the remaining tips include not washing your turkey, cooking it to the proper temperature, and how to properly store leftovers.

If you need more information or tips on safely prepping your Thanksgiving meal you can call the Extension Office at 270-365-2787.

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