Food Safety & Why I Don’t Cook Turkey
I hope all of my U.S. friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I hope my non-U.S. friends had a great Thursday. My family and I headed off to my mom’s for a wonderful day with family yesterday. I let her take on the challenge of Thanksgiving. Why? you may ask. I don’t really cook meat and so with the centerpiece being the turkey, this is a meal that seemed out of my comfort zone.
I was the only one in my household growing up that didn’t care for eating meat. I am the only one in my household now that doesn’t eat meat. My husband and children do. Although most meals served in our home are vegetarian, occasionally we will add meat to a vegetarian-based meal, such as spaghetti, for those that want it.
He Still Married Me
When my husband and I were dating, I wanted to surprise him with a lovely cooked whole chicken. You know, show him that domestic flair I had. He came from work with the table all set for two. Candles were lit. Side dishes of wonderful food were there. A gorgeous golden chicken was sitting in the middle of the table, looking like something out of a Martha Stewart magazine. I was so proud… until he cut into it.
Apparently chicken isn’t like beef. Pink is never good. He explained internal temperature and food safety. Thankfully I hadn’t killed him AND he still chose to marry me, but after a few similar “oops” moments, he takes care of all meat products beyond hot dogs.
A Vegetarian’s Thoughts on Food Safety
You see, as a vegetarian, I didn’t know what it was supposed to look like. I knew nothing about the cooking process. Heck, I didn’t even know how to carve the darn thing. But, food safety is important whether you consume the food yourself or you are preparing it for someone you hope will someday propose. That’s why when I saw this video from Food Safety, I wanted to share it. I mean, salmonella disco dancing? That’s just funny.
So to keep you from making some of the mistakes I’ve made, here’s some helpful food safety tips:
- Your bird is not safe to eat until it’s reaches 165°F
Apparently you cannot tell if it’s done by the color alone.
- Use 3 places to check the temperature
The thickest part of the breast, the innermost part of the wing, and the innermost part of the thigh.
- Cook immediately after thawing
Don’t thaw your bird and then spend an hour online researching how to cook it.
After enjoying your Thanksgiving meal, refrigerate leftovers in shallow containers (to decrease cool times) within two hours of cooking them. Leftovers should be consumed within four days. Store in the freezer if you don’t think you will be able to eat it all within four days – That’s never happened in our house.