This may help, had it filed in my Food prep folder.
Turkey Basics: Safely Thaw, Prepare and Cook
When preparing a turkey, be aware of the main safety issues: thawing, preparing and cooking to adequate temperature.
Food Thermometer Truths
- Always use a food thermometer to guarantee that foods are cooked to a safe-to-eat temperature.
- Some food thermometers must be calibrated to ensure that they read food temperature accurately. Find out if your thermometer can be calibrated by reading the Fill a pot of water with distilled water and bring to a rolling boil.
- Hold the thermometer probe in the boiling water for one minute. Do not let the probe touch the pot.
- After one minute, the thermometer should read between 210° and 214° F. If it does not read between these temperatures adjust the thermometer manually to 212° F. If the thermometer cannot be adjusted manually do not use it until it is serviced by a professional.
Thawing turkeys must be kept at a safe temperature. The "danger zone" is between 40 and 140°F — the temperature range where food-borne bacteria multiply rapidly. While frozen, a turkey is safe indefinitely, but as soon as it begins to thaw, bacteria that may have been present before freezing can begin to grow again, if it is in the "danger zone."
There are three safe ways to thaw food: in the refrigerator, in cold water, and in a microwave oven.
Bacteria present on raw poultry can contaminate your hands, utensils, and work surfaces as you prepare the turkey. If these areas are not cleaned thoroughly before working with other foods, bacteria from the raw poultry can then be transferred to other foods. After working with raw poultry, always wash your hands, utensils, and work surfaces before they touch other foods.
Be sure the turkey is completely thawed. Check the internal temperature at the center of the meaty portion of the breast, thigh, and wing joint using a food thermometer. Cooking times will vary. The food thermometer must reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F.