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Talking turkey safety

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Before you pop that turkey in the oven this Thanksgiving, remember this: thousands of people get sick from food-borne illnesses each year in Canada

Before you pop that turkey in the oven this Thanksgiving, remember this: thousands of people get sick from food-borne illnesses each year in Canada. Bacteria like Salmonella can take a nasty toll if turkeys and fixings aren't thawed, cooked, and cooled carefully. Bacteria grow quickly on room-temperature foods, so Health Canada recommends turkeys be thawed in the fridge or in a sink of cool water. Cook at moderate to high heat (at least 350 C), and use a thermometer to tell when the turkey's done-a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast or thigh should read at least 85 C (185 F). After carving and eating, don't let a cooked bird sit out at room temperature-cool it quickly by wrapping and returning to the refrigerator. Many experts agree it's best to cook the stuffing separately to avoid possible contamination. Try putting pierced oranges or lemons inside, along with some fresh herbs to give flavour and keep the meat moist. Another way to avoid bacteria is to buy only organic, free-range poltry-mass produced birds are often kept in close quarters, enabling disease to spread easily. Health Canada (hc-sc.gc.ca)

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