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Vilas County lays out reminders to stay safe while preparing turkeySubmitted: 11/17/2017
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

Vilas County lays out reminders to stay safe while preparing turkey
EAGLE RIVER - Americans eat more than 46 million turkeys on Thanksgiving Day. That much thawing, handling, and cooking of turkeys means people can make mistakes.

The Vilas County Public Health Department wants to help people avoid exposing themselves to dangerous bacteria. It says frozen turkeys should always be thawed in the refrigerator or under running water.

"You don't want to set them out on your countertop for any amount of time to thaw them because that's when they're going to be in the 'danger zone.' The 'danger zone' is between 40 and 140 [degrees Fahrenheit], and that's when pathogens can grow," said Vilas County Registered Sanitarian Amy Springer.


Springer says turkeys should be cooked to 165 degrees at their thickest point.

"They realize it takes a lot longer to cook the turkey than what they anticipated," Springer said. "Everything else is done, people are waiting for the turkey, and you pull it out before it's thoroughly cooked, and you serve undercooked turkey."

Leaving leftovers out for more than two hours also can allow bacteria to grow.

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