Turkey  Turkey Storage Advice

Turkey Recipes and Information: Turkey Basics
Turkey Storage Advice
from the National Turkey Federation
Baked Turkey! Yum!

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Williams-Sonoma Thanksgiving: Entertaining; by Lou Pappas; Published: September 2005

Following proper storage procedures is important for food safety and to maintain the best quality of the turkey.

When you return from the grocery with raw turkey, place it in the original wrapper in the refrigerator; a hard-chilled turkey should not be placed in the freezer. If the turkey is frozen and the thawing process does not need to begin, store in the freezer.

Storage of Raw Turkey
  Refrigerated Storage
at 35-40 degrees F.
Freezer Storage
at 0 degrees F or Below
Whole Turkey 1 to 2 days 12 months
Turkey Breasts 1 to 2 days 3 months

Care must be taken to properly store leftover cooked turkey. The leftover turkey should be carved from the bone and the stuffing removed. All leftovers should be stored in shallow containers and refrigerated or frozen within two hours of cooking. NTF recommends that cooked, sliced turkey reach 40 degrees F within two hours or less. When reheating, be sure the turkey reaches a temperature of 165 degrees F. Turkey gravy should be used within 1 to 2 days, be sure to bring the gravy to a boil before serving.

Storage of Leftover Cooked Turkey
  Refrigerated Storage
at 35-40 degrees F.
Freezer Storage
at 0 degrees F or Below
Leftover Turkey 3 to 4 days 3 to 4 months


© 2004 National Turkey Federation
1225 New York Avenue NW • Suite 400 • Washington, D.C. 20005
EMAIL: • TEL: 202.898.0100 • FAX: 202.898.0203


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