Turkey Basics Stuffing (PDF)

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					             United States Department of Agriculture
             Food Safety and Inspection Service




                                                                                                                              PhotoDisc
             www.fsis.usda.gov

Food Safety Information


                                   Turkey Basics: Stuffing
Food Thermometer                           1. Prepare Stuffing Safely                3. Cook Immediately
Essential When Stuffing a                                                               Immediately place the stuffed,
Turkey                                         If you plan to prepare stuffing       raw turkey in an oven set no lower
                                           using raw meat, poultry, or               than 325 °F.
     For optimal safety and uniform        shellfish, you should cook these
doneness, cook stuffing separately.        ingredients before stuffing the           4. Use a Food
However, if stuffing a turkey, it’s        turkey to reduce the risk of              Thermometer
essential to use a food thermometer        foodborne illness from bacteria that
to make sure the center of the             may be found in raw ingredients.          For safety and doneness, check
stuffing reaches a safe minimum            The wet ingredients for stuffing          the internal temperature of the
internal temperature of 165 °F.            can be prepared ahead of time and         turkey and stuffing with a food
     Cooking a home-stuffed turkey         refrigerated. However, do not mix         thermometer.
is somewhat riskier than cooking           wet and dry ingredients until just            If the temperature of the turkey
one not stuffed. Even if the turkey        before spooning the stuffing mixture      and the center of the stuffing
has reached the safe minimum               into the turkey cavity.                   have not reached a safe minimum
internal temperature of 165 °F as              If stuffing is prepared ahead         internal temperature of 165 °F,
measured in the innermost part of          of time, it must be cooked                further cooking will be required.
the thigh, the wing and the thickest       immediately and refrigerated in           Do not remove the stuffing from
part of the breast, the stuffing may       shallow containers. Do not stuff          the turkey before it reaches 165 °F
not have reached a temperature             whole poultry with cooked stuffing.       because the undercooked stuffing
high enough to destroy bacteria                                                      could contaminate the cooked meat.
that may be present.                       2. Stuff Loosely                              Continue to cook the turkey until
     Bacteria can survive in stuffing                                                the stuffing is safely cooked.
that has not reached 165 °F,                   Do not cool the stuffing. Spoon
possibly resulting in foodborne            it directly into the turkey cavity        5. Let It Rest
illness.                                   right after preparation. Stuff the
                                           turkey loosely – about 3/4 cup of             Let the cooked turkey stand
Frozen Turkeys Stuffed                     stuffing per pound. The stuffing          20 minutes before removing the
at the Plant Under USDA                    should be moist, not dry, because         stuffing and carving.
Inspection                                 heat destroys bacteria more rapidly
                                           in a moist environment.                   6. Refrigerate Promptly
    The USDA does not recommend                Do not stuff turkeys to
buying retail-stuffed, uncooked            be grilled, smoked, fried, or                Refrigerate the cooked turkey
turkeys from a store or restaurant.        microwaved.                               and stuffing within 2 hours after
     However, some turkeys
                                                                                     cooking. Place leftovers in shallow
purchased frozen have been stuffed
                                                                                     containers and use within 3 to 4
at a plant under USDA inspection.
                                                                                     days. Reheat leftovers to a safe
These turkeys are safe when cooked
from the frozen state as per the                                                     minimum internal temperature of
manufacturer’s package directions.                                                   165 ºF.



                      Call the USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline                           AskKaren.gov
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FSIS encourages the reprint and distribution of this publication for food safety           The USDA is an equal opportunity
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protected by the copyright laws of the U.S., Canada, and elsewhere, and may not be               Reviewed September 2011
saved or downloaded except for printing of this publication.

				
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