Make your Turkey Safe this Christmas
21 December 2009
Advice on storage, preparation and cooking your turkey this Christmas
KEEP YOUR TURKEY SAFE THIS CHRISTMAS
Buying & Storage
Fresh Turkey - Buy it as close to Christmas as possible, bring it home quickly and store it in the fridge at or below 50C.
Frozen Turkey - After purchasing, bring it home & place in the freezer immediately. Keep it in the freezer until you are ready to defrost it.
Raw meat & poultry should be stored on the bottom shelf of the fridge to prevent meat juices from dripping on to other foods & spreading germs around the fridge.
Additional fridge space can be created by storing drinks (except milk & fruit juices etc) in a cool place or summer cool box.
- The safest method of defrosting your turkey is on the bottom shelf of the fridge on a plate or tray.
- It takes at least 24 hours to defrost a 2-2.5kg turkey, so it can take up to 3 days to defrost a frozen 7.5kg turkey.
- Check the weight on the label and allow enough time to defrost it thoroughly. You’ll know it’s completely thawed when the body is soft, the legs can be moved & there are no ice crystals in the cavity.
Cooking your Turkey
Allow enough time to thoroughly cook the turkey.
Please see the table below for a list of times per weight
|Weight||Unstuffed Turkey||Stuffed Turkey|
|4kg||3 hours 20 minutes||3 hours 51 minutes|
|4.5kg||3 hours 30 minutes||4 hours 6 minutes|
|5kg||3 hours 39 minutes||4 hours 21 minutes|
|5.5kg||3 hours 49 minutes||4 hours 37 minutes|
|6kg||3 hours 58 minutes||4 hours 52 minutes|
|6.5kg||4 hours 8 minutes||5 hours 7 minutes|
|7kg||4 hours 17 minutes||5 hours 23 minutes|
|7.5kg||4 hours 27 minutes||5 hours 38 minutes|
|8kg||4 hours 36 minutes||5 hours 53 minutes|
|8.5kg||4 hours 46 minutes||6 hours 8 minutes|
|9kg||4 hours 55 minutes||6 hours 24 minutes|
|9.5kg||5 hours 5 minutes||6 hours 39 minutes|
|10kg||5 hours 14 minutes||6 hours 54 minutes|
Note:The above cooking times are based on electric fan assisted ovens only.
Thoroughly wash your hands & any surfaces that come into contact with the raw turkey.
Do not wash inside the cavity of the turkey as it can spread germs to your sink, kitchen surfaces and utensils.
Place the turkey in the roasting tray & preheat the oven to 1800C
If you’re stuffing the turkey loosely pack the stuffing (weighing no more than 10% of the weight of the bird) in the cavity.
Cover the turkey with foil & baste it every hour. Remove the foil for the last half hour to brown the skin.
Before serving ensure the turkey is properly cooked by the doing the following:
- Make sure there is no pink meat left.
- The meat juices should run clear when the thickest part of the leg & breast meat are pierced with a clean fork or skewer.
- Check the meat is piping hot all the way through. It should be steaming.
- In cavity stuffed turkeys, the stuffing should also be piping hot in the centre as this is the slowest point to cook in stuffed turkeys.
- As with any food you cook & don’t eat straight away, it is important to store & handle them safely.
- Leftovers should be cooled as quickly as possible, covered & refrigerated within 2 hours of cooking.
- Leftovers should be eaten within 3 days
- Always reheat leftovers until they are piping hot all the way through
NEVER reheat food more than once!
For further information please contact:
Colin Bell, Environmental Health Officer
Telephone: 028 9335 8000