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Health official says there’s a right way to cook a turkey

RAVENSWOOD, W.Va. — The last thing you want when you put Thanksgiving dinner on the table is for everybody attending your meal to get sick. However, unless you’re careful, that can be a very real possibility.

Amy Haskins

Amy Haskins, health administrator for the Jackson County Health Department, spoke about safe food handling this week on MetroNews affiliate WMOV Radio in Ravenswood.

“As far as cooking, you want to make sure all of your food gets to the proper temperatures. Anyone over 135 degrees for most food and for the turkey, you want to make sure it gets up to at least 165 degrees before you service it,” she explained.

Haskins added you need to make sure the internal temperature is accurate and doing so requires more than one reading.

“When you’re taking the temperatures, you want to take it in three different places. You want to take it in thickest part of the turkey breast, the innermost part of the thigh, and the innermost part of the wing if you’re doing a whole turkey. You want to make sure all three of those points meet 165 degrees,” Haskins said.

Although many families like to sit around the table and talk after the meal, Haskins suggests you do that after clearing the table and getting the food into the refrigerator.

“Clean that up as quickly as possible. From the time that you take that out of the oven to the time it needs to be refrigerated, something that is hot, is only about four hours,” she said.

This year’s survey of the average cost of that that Thanksgiving meal, if your feeding 10 people, is just more than $61.00, that’s less than $6.20 a person. This year’s cost is down 4.5% from last year but up 25% of the average cost in 2019.





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