Q:

How do you clean a frozen turkey?

A:

Quick Answer

Frozen and thawed turkeys should not be washed prior to cooking, as this can cause harmful bacteria to spread around the food preparation area, says the United States Department of Agriculture. Rather than washing the turkey, properly thaw it prior to cooking, and cook the turkey to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent foodborne illnesses.

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How do you clean a frozen turkey?
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Full Answer

In order to create a safe cooking environment and prevent foodborne illnesses:

  1. Wash hands
  2. While the turkey does not need to be washed, thoroughly wash hands with soap and warm water before and after handling the raw turkey.

  3. Wash food preparation surfaces
  4. Thoroughly clean the cooking environment both before and after preparation by wiping down surfaces with soap and hot water or a mixture of bleach and water.

  5. Keep the bird frozen
  6. Keep the turkey frozen if it is purchased more than 1 to 2 days before cooking.

  7. Thaw the turkey properly
  8. Properly thaw the turkey before cooking it. For best results, thaw the turkey in the refrigerator, allowing 24 hours of thawing time for every 5 to 6 pounds.

  9. Cook the turkey thoroughly
  10. Roast the turkey until the center of the breasts and thighs reach an internal temperature of 165 F.

  11. Store leftovers properly
  12. Refrigerate or freeze leftover turkey before it sits out for 2 hours or more. Use the leftovers within 3 to 4 days.

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