These Handling Tips Will Keep You Out Of Turkey Trouble This Season

by | Nov 13, 2023


The National Turkey Federation (NTF) shares helpful tips for Americans purchasing and preparing turkey to be served on the Thanksgiving table. With the holiday just over three weeks away, NTF highlighted the robust availability of turkey products featured at retailers nationwide as well as its comprehensive guide to preparing the holiday turkey, Thanksgiving 101.

Planning ahead is the key to securing a turkey that meets specific event needs. If there is a particular weight or style of turkey you require, you’ll want to shop earlier or contact your local grocery store to find out when those products will be available. As you start to plan your meal, check out NTF’s comprehensive Thanksgiving 101 for turkey tips and recipes.

Food Safety at Thanksgiving
Food safety is essential to ensure a safe Thanksgiving. NTF recommends following the four core food safety practices:

  • Clean: Wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Ensure surfaces are clean both before and after handling raw turkey.
  • Separate: Prevent cross-contamination by using different cutting boards to separate raw turkey from produce and other items you are preparing.
  • Cook: Cook your turkey to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F as measured by a food thermometer. Cooking to the proper temperature will kill all bacteria with absolute certainty.
  • Chill: Chill leftovers immediately and use or freeze leftovers within three to four days.

In addition, never rinse your turkey as that can spread bacteria that might be present around the kitchen.

Thanksgiving 101: Gobble Up These Tips for the Big Meal
Whether you’re hosting Friendsgiving or welcoming the whole family, we’ve got you covered with Thanksgiving 101. This central hub includes endless turkey recipes and everything commonly searched for when preparing your Thanksgiving turkey:

Turkey on the Grill and Smoker
In addition to a traditional roasted turkey, if you’re looking for variety consider smoking your turkey.

Looking Forward to Leftovers
Whether it’s the most epic leftover sandwich the world has ever seen or if you’re looking for something a little different, we’ve got a number of recipes that truly transform leftover Thanksgiving turkey.

How to Freeze Turkey
Freezing leftover turkey is a great way to keep leftovers longer and save on the grocery bill. It’s best to freeze turkey within one day of cooking for optimal texture and taste. Leftover turkey freezes well for up to six months if properly handled, packed and frozen.

About The National Turkey Federation

National Turkey Federation Logo

The National Turkey Federation (NTF) is the national advocate for America’s turkey farmers and producers, raising awareness for its members’ products while strengthening their ability to profitably and safely deliver wholesome, high-quality and nutritious food to consumers worldwide. NTF is the sole national trade association exclusively representing the turkey industry; its members account for more than 95 percent of all U.S. turkey production.