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Things to note when buying and storing turkey for your family consumption

As a housewife, purchasing of the right turkey for your family consumption may be something that gives rise to anxieties and inquiries. I'm not sure what kind of turkey to get. Should I buy a fresh or frozen turkey? What is the best way to store a turkey?

Fresh, frozen, self-basting, and pre-stuffed turkeys are among the various options available today. 

On the label, they will be recognized. An inspection mark appears on the label as well, indicating that the turkey has been examined by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control and is safe, healthy, and appropriately labeled. NAFDAC inspects over 95% of all turkeys and other livestock and poultry products. A NAFDAC grading mark - usually grade A - will also be indicated on the label.

Grade A turkeys are meaty, have a thick coating of fat on the skin, and are almost free of pin feathers, bruises, wounds, tears in the chest and legs, and fractured bones. Look for the term "young turkey" to find more soft, mild-flavored turkeys (usually 4-6 months of age). Young turkeys called fryer-roaster turkeys are also available (usually under 16 weeks of age). The sex classification of hen or tom on the tag is optional and refers to the size of the turkey instead of its tenderness.

When purchasing a turkey, allow one pound per person. This will serve a large number of people and provide enough for leftovers the next day.

Fresh or frozen turkey can be obtained. Because fresh turkey is highly perishable, NAFDAC advises purchasing it only if it would be cooked within 2 days. The sell date is the latest day on which the shop should sell the turkey. For one or two days following this date, the turkey will be at its best in terms of quality and safety. A fresh turkey that is placed above the top of the retailer's refrigerator case should be avoided. Refrigerate your fresh turkey as soon as you bring it home. Fresh turkey pieces can be frozen and preserved in your freezer for up to 6 months at 0°F or lower. To avoid freezer burn and the formation of an off-flavor, repackage turkey portions in freezer paper or heavy-duty aluminum foil. Put a date on the parcels and start with the oldest.

Fresh turkey can last for up to a year in the freezer. Turkeys or turkey parts that have been previously frozen can be stored for up to 6 months without losing quality. Unless the packing has been ripped, punctured, or torn, frozen entire turkeys should not have to be re-wrapped.

Thawing a turkey can be done in one of three ways: in the refrigerator, in a cold-water bath, or in the microwave. Pre-stuffed turkeys should be kept frozen until you're ready to cook them. Do not thaw the turkey because bacteria can grow in the stuffing as it thaws.

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National Agency for Food

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