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updated: 11/19/2012 8:14 AM

Health department has food safety tips for turkey

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Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- Thanksgiving is less than a week away, so it's a good time to remember food safety.

That's the message from the Illinois Department of Public Health, which has some tips for people planning to roast a turkey.

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Fresh or frozen? If you choose fresh turkey, buy it no more than two days ahead, and be sure you have room in the refrigerator.

Frozen turkeys should be thawed in the refrigerator, not on the kitchen counter. Allow about 24 hours per five pounds of turkey. A 15-pound turkey could take three full days to thaw in the refrigerator.

Calculate cooking time carefully and use a meat thermometer. Turkey is safe to eat when it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

More food safety tips are on the health department's website.

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