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Health Tip: Safely Thaw the Thanksgiving Turkey

(HealthDay News) -- You don't want Thanksgiving guests to become sick from contaminated turkey, so make sure you thaw your holiday bird safely.

The U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service offers this advice:

  • Thaw the turkey in the refrigerator. Allow 24 hours per 4-to-5 pounds of turkey, and make sure the bird is stored in a pan or container to prevent contaminating other food. Cook within one to two days of thawing.
  • Place your frozen turkey in a leakproof plastic bag and submerge in cold tap water, changing the water every 30 minutes. Allow about 30 minutes of thawing time per pound of turkey, and cook immediately after thawing.
  • Thaw your turkey in the microwave according to the instructions on the package. Make sure you cook the turkey immediately after microwaving.
  • Keep turkey frozen until you are ready to defrost.
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