Source Fresh Turkey Shortage
You did catch that part about ‘Fresh’ turkey shortage.
Butterball announced that it will be shipping out about half as many large, fresh never frozen turkeys to retailers this year. Sixteen pound birds is the national average for Thanksgiving holiday turkeys making this shortage a particularly concerning problem for retailers and consumers of ‘Fresh’ never frozen turkeys.
Butterball and its retail supermarket partners have ample supply of frozen whole turkeys of all sizes small, medium or large frozen birds.
Smaller birds and frozen Butterballs have not been affected by the bird’s lack of weight gain, and other brands like Cargill or Farbest Foods have not reported any production problems.
Depending on the size of your turkey, it typically takes between three to five days to thaw. USDA suggests that thawing in a refrigerator is best. The rule of thumb is four hours thawing time for every pound of frozen turkey.
In the Refrigerator (40 °F or below)
USDA said “Allow approximately 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds.
4 to 12 pounds —– 1 to 3 days
12 to 16 pounds —- 3 to 4 days
16 to 20 pounds —- 4 to 5 days
20 to 24 pounds —- 5 to 6 days
Keep the turkey in its original wrapper. Place it on a tray or in a pan to catch any juices that may leak. A thawed turkey can remain in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. If necessary, a turkey that has been ‘properly thawed’ in the refrigerator may be refrozen.
Meat Thermometer If you don’t have one Get One
I have said this many times before and will continue saying it until every kitchen has and uses a thermometer to insure ‘All’ foods have reached an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees(F), 71 degrees(C). When foods reach 160F(71C) all bacteria has been killed, that includes dangerous bacteria like E coli and Salmonella.
USDA Said “Roasting Your Turkey”
Set your oven temperature no lower than 325 °F.
Place your turkey or turkey breast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.
For optimum safety, stuffing a turkey is not recommended. For more even cooking, it is recommended you cook your stuffing outside the bird in a casserole. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the stuffing. The stuffing must reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F.
A whole turkey is safe when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook turkey to higher temperatures. If your turkey has a “pop-up” temperature indicator, it is recommended that you also check the internal temperature of the turkey in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast with a food thermometer. The minimum internal temperature should reach 165 °F for safety.
For quality, tent your bird with aluminum foil, let the turkey stand for 20 minutes before carving to allow juices to set. The turkey will carve more easily.
USDA Said “Timetables for Turkey Roasting (325 °F oven temperature).”
These times are approximate. Always use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of your turkey and stuffing.
4 to 8 pounds (breast) 1½ to 3¼ hours
8 to 12 pounds ——– 2¾ to 3 hours
12 to 14 pounds ——- 3 to 3¾ hours
14 to 18 pounds ——- 3¾ to 4¼ hours
18 to 20 pounds ——- 4¼ to 4½ hours
20 to 24 pounds ——- 4½ to 5 hours
4 to 6 pounds (breast) Not usually applicable
6 to 8 pounds (breast) 2½ to 3½ hours
8 to 12 pounds ——– 3 to 3½ hours
12 to 14 pounds ——- 3½ to 4 hours
14 to 18 pounds ——- 4 to 4¼ hours
18 to 20 pounds ——- 4¼ to 4¾ hours
20 to 24 pounds ——- 4¾ to 5¼ hours
Source document USDA – Let’s Talk Turkey
USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline
1-888-MPHotline – (1-888-674-6854)
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday
Or “Ask Karen,” FSIS’ Web-based automated response system – available 24/7 at http://www.fsis.usda.gov.
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