HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


Emergency turkey question!!!

  • c

I just realized that after looking for something in the freezer, I forgot to replace a whole turkey! It has been out @ room temp. for about 48 hours. Is it still safe if I cook it right away? Or should I toss it?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. if it doesn't smell funky AND it's still *cold* to the touch, it may be ok. but if it's completely defrosted and room temp, ABSOLUTELY toss it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Yeah, it's room temp, all right. >sigh<

    2. I would roast it; but that's just me. Part of my response is based on that my freezer is so cold that a turkey would need at least 48 hours to thaw properly.

      1. I don't know if it's too late, but I would definitely roast it too. It seems a shame to waste it, and what's the worst that could happen? Though I grew up in a family that didn't staunchly follow typical North American food safety practices (which seem quite excessive to me anyway) just because of what was deemed normal in my parents' culture, so what makes you sick may not make me sick. But I'd give it a shot...

        1 Reply
        1. re: rafjel

          We play pretty fast and loose with food safety rules at our house--I'd go for it.

        2. What doesn't kill you will only make you stronger. (I.e., if it cost more than $10 than go ahead and cook and eat it).

          1. If still asceptically sealed, I'd go for it as well.


            1 Reply
            1. re: Chefpaulo

              I don't think any raw fresh/frozen meat can be considered to be asceptic or asceptically packaged. There will always be some level of viable bacteria present, pathogenic or not.

            2. I would not cook it.

              1. personally, i'd probably go for it. but as for serving it i'd waffle some. for immediate family of healthy adults who know the provenance, i'd be okay. no kids, no elderly family, no immune suppressed anyone, no guests.

                1 Reply
                1. re: appycamper

                  That would be my way of dealing with it as well. At the very least, I would make turkey stock out of it, since then I wouldn't have to worry about it being cooked past bacterial stage in its entirety.

                  But I see the OP decided to toss it.

                2. No way would I cook poultry that's been out at room temp that long, no matter how cold you think it is.
                  The outer parts have been way too warm for too long, no matter how chilled the inner parts still are.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mcf

                    second mcf's recommendation here.
                    look at it this way:
                    what is the upside? saving $30 or so
                    what is the downside? getting REALLY sick for days

                    would i pay $30 to decrease my chances of getting really sick for days? the answer is YES.

                  2. Well, I may be a sissy, but I decided to toss it. It's worth whatever the darn thing cost to be sure of not getting sick. Thanks for all the responses!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: ccrow

                      Was it a Shadybrook Farms AKA CARGILL Turkey, lol?? Gotta love Cargill Products. Glad you tossed the Turkey.

                        1. re: phofiend

                          Cargill, you know. They had the massive E.Coli recall not to long ago. Google is your friend ;)