How Do You Cook a Turkey So It's Safe to Serve?

Dr. Oz has the answer.

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Q: Remind us again: How do you cook a turkey so it's safe to serve?

Oz Says: You don't have to char the turkey to keep bacteria at bay, but you do need to hit a target temp of 165°F in the thickest part of the thigh and in the meatiest part of the breast. Also pay attention to these play-it-safe moves before and after the bird goes into the oven.

Keep Germs From Breeding

Thaw the turkey in the fridge, in a sink full of cold water (change it every 30 minutes), or in the microwave. Letting it sit at room temperature for more than two hours essentially turns your turkey into a petri dish for microbes to multiply in.

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Rethink Your Prep

If there are bacteria on the bird, the last thing you want is to spread them all over your kitchen. The government's primary food safety experts say don't wash the turkey before roasting. This just swooshes pathogens onto kitchen surfaces...and into the salad, the green bean casserole, and your elderly aunt's stomach.

Get Doggie Bags in the Fridge Fast

Any leftovers need to be refrigerated within two hours. So get the take-home goodies chilling before you head out for your postmeal walk.

This story originally appeared in the November 2016 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.

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