There has been a salmonella outbreak but there’s no need to panic or not eat turkey…just follow these safety precautions.
1. Do not eat raw turkey: Unless you want to play diarrhea roulette.
2. Do not feed your pets raw turkey: Unless you and your pet want to play diarrhea roulette.
3. Thoroughly clean anything that touches raw turkey. This meaning everything, includes all utensils, cutting boards, counters, storage containers, and any costumes in which you may dress your turkey.
4. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly: Use soap and water and not hand sanitizer or some other liquid like gravy.
5. Don’t wash the turkey: This could cause a Salmonella aromatherapy mist.
6. Beware of a suspicious turkey: Don’t prepare or eat turkey that looks or smells odd.
7. Properly store the turkey: Keep the turkey frozen until you are ready to thaw and cook it.
8. Properly defrost the turkey: Trying to cook a not completely defrosted turkey may leave undercooked areas. There are many inappropriate ways and places to thaw a turkey like on a counter, on a table, in your bed, or on a sofa. The 3 proper options are to immerse the turkey in cold water while wrapped in a waterproof plastic bag (the turkey, that is and not you), using the microwave, or keeping the turkey in the refrigerator long enough (which according to the USDA is 1 to 3 days for a 4-to-12 pound turkey, 3 to 4 days for a 12 to 16 pound one, 4 to 5 days for a 16 to 20 pound one, and 5 to 6 days for 20 to 24 pound one.)
9. Cook stuffing before you stuff the turkey or better yet don’t stuff the turkey: Bacteria can hide out in the stuffing while the turkey is being cooked.
10. Use an oven temperature of at least 325°F to cook the turkey.
11. Use a turkey thermometer: This can ensure that the inside of the turkey can reach at least 165°F or 74°C, the temperature that kills Salmonella. Use a real turkey thermometer and not a rectal thermometer. The words rectal thermometer and dinner should almost never go together.
12. Cook a turkey long enough: The USDA offers the following time tables to cook turkeys.