Health Tip: Talkin' Turkey

(HealthDay News) -- When it's time to thaw your big bird for Thanksgiving, make sure you do it properly to reduce the risk of food poisoning.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers this advice:

  • Don't take a frozen turkey out of the freezer until you are ready to thaw and cook it.

  • To thaw in the refrigerator, put the turkey inside a container to catch any leaking liquids. Thaw for 24 hours per five pounds of turkey. The refrigerator should be set to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.

  • To thaw in cold water, carefully wrap the turkey in a plastic bag that won't allow water in or juices out. Place the turkey in cold water and replace the water every 30 minutes. You should allow 30 minutes per pound of turkey to thaw.

  • To thaw in a microwave, follow the manufacturer's instructions. Cook immediately after turkey is thawed.

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