Buying, Handling and Storing Frozen Whole Turkey
At the store, purchase turkey last and keep it separated from other foods in your cart. Put your turkey in the freezer, in its original packaging, as soon as possible after purchasing. Thaw under refrigeration, in cold water, or the microwave:
- Refrigerator: Allow approximately 24 hours per four to five pounds to thaw. Place a pan underneath to catch juices
- Cold Water: Allow approximately 30 minutes per pound to thaw. Do not use warm or hot water and change the water every 30 minutes.
- Microwave: Follow the microwave manufacturer's directions. Begin to roast the turkey immediately following the microwave process.
Wash hands, cutting boards, dishes, and utensils thoroughly with warm water and soap before and after handling raw turkey. Keep raw turkey and its juices separate from other foods.