USDA: Be Careful Thawing a Frozen Turkey

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You’ll be needing to thaw out that frozen turkey soon, but experts say it’s a bad move to leave it on the counter.

Meredith Carothers with USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline says by the time the inside of the turkey thaws, the outside has been at room temperature for hours allowing bacteria to grow.

In case you are wondering, here are some thawing methods that are not recommended:

  • Thawing a turkey on the counter, in the garage or on the back porch
  • Thawing a turkey in a brown paper grocery bag or plastic garbage bag
  • Using the dishwasher to thaw a turkey (with or without water)
  • Any method that is not the refrigerator, cold water, or the microwave

If you have any other questions about your meal prep, you can call the USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline at 888 M-P HOTLINE.


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