We’re lucky to have two chefs on our staff at the Food Bank of Delaware. When they’re not instructing students in our Culinary School or preparing thousands of meals for our children’s nutrition programs, they’re preparing delicious catered meals for the public. Yesterday I sat down with Executive Chef Tim Hunter to get the low down on Thanksgiving food safety.
Fortunately for my family, I am not in charge of preparing the annual Thanksgiving feast, but I was still curious to learn s0me tips to ensure that Thanksgiving dinner is not only delicious, but safe.
Chef Tim advises:
- Never thaw the turkey at room temperature. Always thaw it in the refridgerator. An average-sized turkey needs about 24-48 hours to thaw. If you haven’t started to thaw your turkey, time is dwindling!
- Always wash your hands before and after handling raw poultry and other raw foods.
- Don’t stuff the turkey.
- Always cook the turkey to at least 160 degrees.
- Test the temperature at the thickest part of the turkey (usually the thigh or breast).
- Don’t leave food out on the table/buffet for too long.
- Refridgerate leftovers right away (lable and date them, too).
And Tim’s suggestion to make sure this year’s turkey is your best ever? “Season your turkey over night,” he suggests. “If you want a really nice brown, crispy turkey turn your oven up to 450 degrees for the first 30 minutes. After 30 minutes turn it down to 300 degrees and let it cook slowly for the remainder of the time.”
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at the Food Bank of Delaware!