The recommended safe cooking temperature for turkey is 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Turkey that is not cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit is susceptible to food-borne bacteria.
The temperature of a cooked turkey is measured by placing a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the bird. It should be checked in more than one spot, usually the breast, thigh and in stuffing, if present.
While a turkey is frozen, no bacteria is growing, but bacteria can multiply rapidly in turkeys between 40 and 140 degrees. Thawing safely, in a refrigerator or cold water, can help to prevent the spread of bacteria before the turkey is cooked. Cleaning all surfaces thoroughly that are touched by raw meat also decreases the possibility of food poisoning.