Certified Master Chef Ron DeSantis Provides Tips

Jennie-O®, one of the nation’s leading turkey brands, reminds consumers that the key to a delicious meal is to keep food, and yourself, safe when preparing raw turkey. Raw poultry products contain bacteria, including salmonella, and this is what you do to enjoy your holiday meal.

To help provide everyone with the tips and recommendations to safely handle and prepare raw poultry, Jennie-O is promoting its four easy steps to stay safe this holiday season.

Preparing Turkey

  1. It’s important to wash hands frequently.
  2. Keep raw meat refrigerated and away from other foods.
  3. Cook turkey to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, as measured by a meat thermometer.
  4. Chill turkey at a safe temperature to keep it safe.

“It is always important to handle food, especially raw meat, following safe food handling guidelines,” said Ron DeSantis, Certified Master Chef and former faculty and administrator at the Culinary Institute of America and former head of dining at Yale University. “While the word Salmonella may be a scary word, it is a common bacteria found in a wide variety of raw foods including ground beef, fruits and vegetables and other products in our home. It’s important to wash your hands and work surfaces frequently, keep other foods separate from raw meat, cook poultry to a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit or greater (whole turkeys to 180 degrees Fahrenheit or greater), as measured by a meat thermometer, and keep food refrigerated at the right temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Simple steps can ensure that your family and friends will be able to enjoy their holiday meals without concern.”

Jennie-O Turkey Store has published four simple steps to stay safe. There are more great tips for our consumers at to make sure their turkey meals are prepared safely and taste delicious.

As a reminder, the CDC is advising that consumers can continue to eat properly cooked turkey products, and that retailers continue selling raw turkey products.

If consumers have any questions about cooking raw turkey, they can contact our consumer engagement team at or at 1.800.621.3505.

Lastly, the National Turkey Federation is a great resource for more on this topic and has information at