It's one of the biggest questions when it comes to Thanksgiving prep: do you cook your stuffing inside the turkey, or make it separate from the bird?
A quick Internet search shows people supporting both sides of the argument.
But according to the United States Department of Agriculture's Food Safety Department, stuffing should ultimately be cooked separately.
Here's how the department explains it on its website:
For optimal safety and uniform doneness, cook stuffing separately. However, if stuffing a turkey, it's essential to use a food thermometer to make sure the center of the stuffing reaches a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F.
Cooking a home-stuffed turkey is riskier than cooking one not stuffed. Even if the turkey itself has reached the safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured in the innermost part of the thigh, the wing and the thickest part of the breast, the stuffing may not have reached a temperature high enough to destroy bacteria that may be present.
Bacteria can survive in stuffing that has not reached 165 °F, possibly resulting in foodborne illness.
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