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With Thanksgiving only a day away, here are some helpful tips to make sure your turkey is cooked to the correct temperature and that you don’t burn down your house in the process.

When selecting a turkey, there is a choice between fresh and frozen. If you choose frozen, please be aware there are some potential food poisoning risks when picking a frozen bird, especially if it is pre-stuffed. Make sure any frozen, pre-stuffed, turkey has a sticker of inspection by the USDA. Also, don’t thaw your turkey at room temperature, as this promotes bacterial growth.

With any turkey, either fresh or frozen, it is important to cook it thoroughly to kill any bacteria and avoid food poisoning. Studies have shown an increase in the contamination of turkey with the bacteria Campylobacter, which accounts for nearly half of all food poisoning in the United States. It’s also important to make sure to cook the turkey before inserting the stuffing to decrease the risks of food poisoning.

When cooking, make sure to have all pot handles turned away from the edge of the stove to prevent children from grabbing hot pots. Try not to wear any loose clothing, as it can get caught on things or even catch fire. Don’t leave your cooking food unattended, it can only take a few minutes for a fire to develop.

If you are going to serve your turkey fried, please be careful of the hot grease so you don’t get burned. Don’t over fill the fryer; make sure to leave enough room in the fryer to put the turkey inside without spilling hot frying oil. Be careful the oil does not spill and catch fire if it reaches the open flame cooking the turkey.

With these tips in mind, you can reduce the chances of getting food poisoning or causing a fire. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

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