(HealthDay News) -- Proper thawing of your Thanksgiving turkey can help ensure a healthy meal. If thawed incorrectly, your bird can become a source of food poisoning.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture advises:
- Never allow a frozen turkey to thaw at room temperature. Choose one of three thawing methods: the refrigerator, cold water or microwave.
- To use the refrigerator, allow for 24 hours of thawing time per 4-5 pounds of turkey, assuming your fridge is set at about 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure the turkey is inside a leak-proof container.
- To thaw in cold water, allow for 30 minutes of thawing per pound of turkey. Wrap the turkey in a plastic bag that won't leak, and submerge in cold water. Change the water ever 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed completely, then cook immediately.
- To defrost in a microwave, follow the package instructions. Make sure you cook the turkey immediately after thawing.