Taking Turkey's Temperature is Key to Healthy Holiday Feasts

October 24, 2012
Sherrie Rosenblatt, National Turkey Federation
202-898-0100 ext. 227, srosenblatt@turkeyfed.org
or Maryanne Keeney, Devine & Pearson
617-472-2700 ext. 137 mkeeney@devine-pearson.com

Taking Turkey's Temperature is Key to Healthy Holiday Feasts
Whole Turkey Should be Cooked to 170 Degrees F in the Breast

WASHINGTON, D.C. - November 16, 2004 - To ensure that Americans enjoy a healthy and safe Thanksgiving feast, the National Turkey Federation (NTF) is encouraging consumers to use food thermometers when checking if their turkey and stuffing are fully cooked.

According to an NTF survey of consumers, 66 percent used a thermometer to check their turkey's doneness last year, down from 73 percent the previous year. Only 30 percent of consumers used a thermometer to check both their turkey and stuffing. This could mean that many home cooks are over-cooking or under-cooking their turkeys.

"There is only one sure way to know if your turkey and stuffing are cooked - by taking its temperature," said Sherrie Rosenblatt, the federation's senior director of marketing and communications. "A thermometer will help you cook a turkey so that it's neither underdone nor overcooked, but just right. Your family and dinner guests will appreciate your cooking skills far better."

To ensure that turkey is cooked safely, the NTF suggests using a food thermometer placed deep within the thigh away from bone. If the temperature is 180 degrees F in the thigh and 170 degrees F in the breast, the turkey is done and safe to eat. Stuffing should reach 165 degrees F to ensure doneness. If the turkey is done, but the stuffing isn't, take the stuffing out of the bird and finish cooking it on the stove top or in the oven.

Consumers can find more information on preparing their holiday turkey at EatTurkey.com. The site offers more than 1,500 turkey recipes, tips on preparation, cooking demonstrations and nutritional facts.

The National Turkey Federation (NTF) is the national advocate for all segments of the turkey industry, providing services and conducting activities that increase demand for its members' products by protecting and enhancing their ability to profitably provide wholesome, high-quality, nutritious products. Its award-winning web site, www.eatturkey.com, offers consumers, food professionals and the media an extensive library of information including healthy eating and restaurant trends, turkey cuts and purchasing tips, turkey nutrition and cooking techniques, and turkey facts and trivia. Additionally, the site presents a searchable database of more than 1,500 recipes, offers a recipe E-mail program and provides special seasonal and holiday ideas. The National Turkey Federation is headquartered in Washington, D.C.