Tips to safely handle and store Thanksgiving turkey

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Before anyone gobbles up that Thanksgiving turkey, you better be sure you’re handling it safely. The big thing here is paying attention to food temperatures.

"When you’re defrosting a turkey, or you’re defrosting some frozen meat, it’s always safer to defrost that in a fridge that’s below 40 degrees. Because we really don’t want it to reach between that 40 and 140-that room temperature-that danger zone, which is when the bacteria can grow," said Dr. Baruch Fertel, with Cleveland Clinic.

The USDA doesn’t recommend washing or prepping your turkey in the sink. That spreads bacteria.

You’ll also want to disinfect any surfaces the raw turkey touched.

Use a meat thermometer to be sure the turkey has an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Food shouldn’t be left out for more than two hours.

Be sure to put leftovers in the fridge or freezer.