Machado speaks with BDN about safe turkey cooking for Thanksgiving

Robson Machado, a food science specialist with University of Maine Cooperative Extension and professor in the School of Food and Agriculture, spoke with the Bangor Daily News for an article about how to safely cook a Thanksgiving turkey. When buying a fresh bird, according to UMaine Extension, plan on picking it up one or two days before Thanksgiving, the article states. If using a frozen bird, there are three safe methods for thawing the turkey, according to Machado. “You can thaw it in your refrigerator, in cold water or in the microwave,” Machado said. “Never leave it out to thaw at room temperature.” When cooking the turkey, Machado said the best way to check for doneness is to place a meat thermometer in the thickest portion of the turkey’s chest muscle. “As soon as it reads 165, it’s safe,” he said. Leftovers, Machado said, can last three to four days when properly refrigerated. After that, they can be frozen for up to a month.