How to Clean and Prepare Poultry

1 Store at the proper temperature.
Refrigerate uncooked poultry as soon as you get it home. Use a refrigerator thermometer to make sure your fridge stays between 35 and 40 degrees F.

2Keep your hands clean.
Wash your hands well with soap and warm water before and after handling poultry. Rinsing poultry before cooking is unnecessary, since bacteria are destroyed during cooking. If you prefer to rinse poultry, use cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

3Trimming the bird.
Trim off excess fat and skin with a sharp knife. Pull poultry skin off with your hands if you want skinless meat. Remove giblets from inside the whole chicken or turkey. Save them for making soup or gravy. Use a plastic cutting board for preparing poultry. You can wash it in the dishwasher.

4Truss the bird closed.
Close the opening of a whole chicken or turkey by inserting crisscrossed toothpicks into the skin on either side, tying the toothpicks with kitchen string.

5Season well.
Sprinkle poultry with salt and pepper before roasting. Cook poultry to an internal temperature of 175 to 180 degrees F. Cook stuffing separately from the bird - this is safer.

6Wash up carefully.
Wash your cutting boards, knives, plates, utensils, countertops and any other surfaces with warm, soapy water after they come into contact with uncooked poultry.

Bacteria grow most easily on poultry between 40 and 140 degrees F, so keep cold poultry cold and hot poultry hot.

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