How to Safely Thaw a Turkey

Posted by Marianne Gravely, Food Safety Education Staff, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA in InitiativesHealth and SafetyFeb 21, 2017

While frozen, a turkey is safe indefinitely. As soon as it begins to thaw, bacteria that may have been present before freezing will begin to grow again. There are three safe ways to defrost a turkey: in the refrigerator, in cold water, and in a microwave oven.

Refrigerator Thawing (Recommended)

The USDA recommends thawing your turkey in the refrigerator. 

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