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Turkey Cooking Tips

Armen Hareyan's picture

Will your holiday meal be remembered as a great gastronomic delight or as the source of dreaded gastrointestinal distress? The turkey that you serve can be risky if you are not careful selecting and preparing it.

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Poultry products such as turkey and chicken are primary sources of the bacteria Salmonella and Campylobacter. These organisms are the two most commonly reported causes of these foodborne illness according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Symptoms, such as stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea and fever, usually occur 1-5 days after eating foods with high levels of bacteria.

Usually bacteria such as these are not harmful at levels typically found in these food sources. However, when these microorganisms are given favorable conditions, they can grow to harmful levels and make people sick. The moist high protein content of turkey provides needed nutrients for bacteria to multiply. With warm temperatures (from 40