COLUMBUS, Ga – Some bad news for you if you haven’t yet thawed your turkey. It’s too late to do it now and cook the turkey in time for Thanksgiving. Planning is key for happy and safe meal, including the prevention of food-borne illnesses.
Your turkey needs to cook thoroughly, to a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit throughout and should be checked with a meat thermometer.
“Check different parts of the turkey. You want to do it behind the wing, in the thickest part of the turkey, up in the breast, and in a couple of areas to make sure it’s at a 165 degrees,” says Rhea Bentley, Family Consumer Sciences Agent with the UGA Extension Service in Columbus.
As for how long and what temperature to cook your bird, it varies by size. Follow the directions that come with the turkey.
Don’t leave any of your cooked food items sitting out for more than two hours. If food stays out four hours or longer, food scientists recommend throwing it out.
If traveling, use a cooler or insulated food bag.