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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 11-15-2009, 06:21 AM   #1
Neil
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Default Turkey shelf life?

Anyone know why a fresh turkey has such a long shelf life compared to chicken? Wifey brought home a fresh turkey the other day and the tag says, "sell by Feb. 2, 2010"! Whole chickens usually have about a week before you must stick it in the freezer.
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Unread 11-15-2009, 07:41 AM   #2
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Maybe thats a frozen date.
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Unread 11-15-2009, 07:55 AM   #3
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Some stores sell "Fresh" Turkeys that have been actually semi frozen. They can claim this as they are frozen immedietly and flash frozen to not below 26 degrees. . Is it possible it is one of these thawed?

FRESH
According to new USDA regulations, turkeys may be labeled "fresh" only if their deep internal muscle temperature has never fallen below 26 degrees Fahrenheit. Norbest is deeply concerned about the food safety risk this would pose. Our research and long experience shows a dramatic reduction in shelf life and increase in risk of spoilage at temperatures above 26 degrees. Norbest is so serious about truth in labeling and about responsible food safety that we will not sell turkeys labeled "fresh".

REFRIGERATED
The best way to handle non-frozen product, and the most responsible way from a food safety standpoint, is the way Norbest has learned to do it. We're determined not to change. We've chosen to label our non-frozen turkeys "refrigerated" to be fair to our consumers, to be truthful in labeling, and to comply with USDA regulations.

Norbest quickly chills refrigerated turkeys down to a deep muscle target temperature of 24 to 26 degrees Fahrenheit immediately after processing. Then we rush them to the supermarket as soon as possible. Any temperature above that would run a risk of quality concerns, and product at temperatures much below that could be chilled too hard to be honestly labeled this way.

At this optimum temperature (24 to 26 degrees F) the surface of the turkey may be stiff, but not hard. This stiffness is the consumer's assurance the product has been rushed to the store in its most wholesome condition. This stiff surface quickly disappears as the product temperature adjusts to that of the retail case, which is usually a little higher.

Refrigerated turkeys are sometimes convenient because they do not need to be thawed. They require special handling to assure the best possible quality and flavor. Refrigerated turkeys should be cooked or frozen by the "use by" date found on the weight tag or weight sticker.
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Unread 11-15-2009, 08:19 AM   #4
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Thanks for the good info Norco.
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Unread 11-15-2009, 08:49 AM   #5
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That's how long it will last in the store kept in a semi frozen state. I talked to Purdue a couple years ago, and was told that a turkey shouldn't be kept in a home refrigerator any more than 2 days.
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Unread 11-15-2009, 08:59 AM   #6
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This is the reason for me that a frozen turkey istheonly way to go!
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