The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) is reminding everyone to follow safe cooking and food handling practices this Thanksgiving holiday.
Turkey should be cooked to an internal temperature of 74 degrees Celsius or hotter to prevent sickness caused by Salmonella, a type of bacteria often found in poultry products, including chickens, eggs and turkey. Use a probe tip food thermometer to check the bird’s internal temperature by inserting it into the breast or the inner thigh.
Remember, choosing not to rinse poultry meat is the best way to prevent bacteria in the juices from contaminating other surfaces in your kitchen. If you are brining, consider dry brining the turkey, then thoroughly drain the turkey prior to cooking.
“It is important to remember raw juices from poultry can easily spread to surfaces from the sink if the meat is rinsed,” said Lorraine McIntyre, food safety specialist with the BCCDC.
“Instead of rinsing, pat the turkey dry with paper towels and then discard the towels into the compost to help prevent cross-contamination.”
Clean and sanitize all surfaces that have been exposed to any raw juices.
- Wash your hands before and after food prep
- Avoid rinsing raw poultry before cooking. Use paper towels to dry.
- Sanitize kitchen areas exposed to raw poultry
- Cook turkey to an internal temperature of at least 74 degrees Celsius or hotter by measuring with a food probe thermometer
- Refrigerate leftovers within two hours to avoid bacterial growth
The BC Centre for Disease Control, a part of the Provincial Health Services Authority, provides public health leadership through surveillance, detection, treatment, prevention and consultation services. The Centre provides diagnostic and treatment services for people with diseases of public health importance, and analytical and policy support to all levels of government and health authorities. The BCCDC also provides health promotion and prevention services to reduce the burden of chronic disease, preventable injury and environmental health risks. For more, visit www.bccdc.ca or follow us on Twitter @CDCofBC.
The Provincial Health Services Authority plans, manages and evaluates selected specialty health care services across BC, working with the five regional health authorities, First Nations Health Authority and the Ministry of Health to deliver province-wide solutions that improve the health of British Columbians. For more information, visit www.phsa.ca or follow us @PHSAofBC.