This Is The One Mistake You Always Make Before Roasting Your Turkey

roasting turkey

We think we’re doing a good thing when we plop our raw turkey into the sink and give it a quick rinse before throwing it in the oven. This preliminary bath removes weird gunk and bacteria that no one wants on their Thanksgiving plate, right? Wrong. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), rinsing your turkey is a surefire way to spread harmful pathogens all over your kitchen.

A November 2014 USDA article tells us that washing a turkey in the sink can cause bacteria to splash onto kitchen counters, utensils, and that it can make your sink a pathogen hotbed.

The best way to keep bacteria at bay on T-Day is to throw the bird in the oven ASAP. “Unsafe handling and undercooking of your turkey can lead to serious foodborne illness,” said Maria Malagon, Director of Food Safety Education with USDA FSIS. “Turkeys may contain Salmonella and Campylobacter, harmful pathogens that are only destroyed by properly preparing and cooking a turkey.”

If frozen, thaw your bird in the microwave, warm water, or a refrigerator, season it, and put it in the oven for the recommended cooking time. And before serving, make sure your turkey has reached the proper 165 °F by inserting a food thermometer in the thickest part of the breast, the innermost part of the thigh, and the innermost part of the wing.


Once your turkey has been cooked and enjoyed by your friends and fam, get the leftovers in the fridge within two hours to prevent bacteria from growing.

And store stuffing leftovers separate from the turkey if you cooked one inside the other.


Keep your family and friends as safe as possible this Thanksgiving by following the USDA’s turkey tips and tricks. Just remember, in regards to turkey, we should all celebrate No Rinse November.

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