News Release Archive


The Health Department is using this Thanksgiving season as a good
opportunity to remind Nova Scotians about simple precautions to
take when cooking poultry.

"Thanksgiving is an excellent time to remind people how important
it is to follow basic hygiene practices when buying, storing and
cooking poultry," said Dr. Jeff Scott, the provincial medical
officer of health. "Food-borne illnesses such as salmonella can
be nasty but are preventable if proper precautions are taken."    

Following is some advice regarding poultry:

At the grocery store:

-  Do not allow fresh poultry to drip on the groceries. Place all
   meat in a separate bag.

At Home:

-  Store fresh or thawed turkey (poultry) in the refrigerator for
   no more than two or three days. Always place on the bottom
   shelf of the refrigerator;

-  Thaw frozen turkey in the refrigerator allowing five hours per
   pound. The turkey may also be submerged in cold running water
   while still in its plastic wrap;

-  Wash hands after handling raw poultry.

-  Thoroughly clean and sanitize all work surfaces, cutting
   boards and utensils that come in contact with raw poultry. A
   sanitizing formula is: one tablespoon of household bleach and
   one litre of water.

-  Cook poultry at 160 degrees C (325 degrees F.), or higher to
   an internal temperature of 85 degrees C (185 degrees F.) Cook
   poultry completely without any interruptions. To check, use a
   meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh.

-  Stuffing should be cooked separately to an internal
   temperature of 70 degrees C (160 degrees F.) If the stuffing
   is placed in the turkey it should be put in just before
   cooking and removed immediately after.

-  For storing purposes remove all meat from the bones so it will
   cool faster. Leftovers can be frozen for one to three months
   or kept in the refrigerator at 4 degrees C (39 degrees F.)
   for three to four days.

Salmonella can be found in foods such as raw chicken, turkey,
beef, pork, eggs, unpasteurized milk or cheese. The germ can
cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever, nausea, and vomiting,
which usually lasts two to seven days. Effects tend to be worse
in the very young, very old, and chronically ill.


Contact: Kelli Tomlinson  902-424-3399

trp                 Oct. 11, 1996 - 3:45 p.m.