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To Stuff or Not To Stuff. How to Safely Make Thanksgiving Stuffing

Posted by Joan Salge Blake  November 26, 2013 05:02 PM

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Source:  FDA
With over 45 million turkeys being cooked on Thanksgiving, the question of the day is whether or not you plan to cook your stuffing inside or outside the bird.  Either way can be deliciously safe to eat if the stuffing is cooked to an adequate temperature in order to kill foodborne pathogens that could ruin the day’s festivities.

Here are some food safety stuffing tips from the FDA and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics no matter how you cook it:

  • Whether it is cooked inside or outside the bird, all stuffing and dressing must be cooked to a minimum temperature of 165ºF.  If the temperature of the turkey and the center of the stuffing have not reached a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F, further cooking will be required.
  • Do not remove the stuffing from the turkey before it reaches 165°F because the undercooked stuffing could contaminate the cooked meat.
  • If you stuff poultry, do it just before roasting and stuff loosely.
  • The turkey should be stuffed loosely, about 3/4 cup stuffing per pound of turkey.
  • Do not stuff turkeys to be grilled, smoked, fried, or cooked in the microwave.
  • For uniform doneness and optimum safety, cook stuffing separately from the bird.

This chart will help you determine how long to cook your turkey:

Source:  FDA

Happy Thanksgiving, Joan

If you have topic you would like me to cover on my blog, please email me at:

                                        Follow Joan on Twitter at:  joansalgeblake

Originally published on the blog Nutrition and You!.
This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD, LDN, is a clinical associate professor and registered dietitian at Boston University in the Nutrition Program. Joan is the author of Nutrition &You, 2nd Edition, More »

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