Top tips for preparing your Christmas Turkey

Preparing Christmas turkey

Top tips for preparing your Christmas Turkey


With Christmas coming up, we want to give you our advice on monitoring the temperature of your turkey from farm to fork, with the help of temperature monitoring equipment from Hanwell.

What’s the best climate for raising chicks?

If you’re farming turkey chicks, heated premises are essential for ensuring good quality meat. Newborn chicks struggle to regulate their own body temperature and can suffer heart problems if not kept in warm conditions. When placed correctly & dependent on lamp size, heat lamps can provide warmth for up to 500 chicks. Before the arrival of the chicks, make sure that the temperature below the litter surface is heated up to at least 27°C.

Once the chicks have arrived, your floor temperature should be maintained between 32°C – 35°C in the first week. You can then gradually reduce the temperature each week. When chicks reach 6 weeks old, the desired floor temperature is between 18°C-21°C.

For help with monitoring your floor temperature, the RL4108 is fitted with onboard sensors and an optional remote surface temperature monitor probe, for accurate and reliable temperature monitoring.

What are the regulations when processing turkey meat?

During meat processing, it is essential to maintain temperatures at all stages. Generally, temperatures should be maintained at 7°C, to prevent spoilage of the poultry meat.

In holding areas, the turkeys should be provided with adequate ventilation in order to minimise premature death and excessive shrinkage, which can be detrimental to the quality of your meat.

Once the turkeys have been slaughtered and defeathered, the meat must be stored in a room chilled to 7°C. Not only does this increase the shelf life of the meat, but if the meat is stored at a higher temperature, it is more vulnerable to contracting bacterial diseases and microbial spoilage.

When packaging up the turkey, you will also need to ensure that the room temperature is maintained at 7°C.

Our Hanwell IceSpy range of wireless temperature monitoring equipment delivers exceptional accuracy and reliability and assists with FSA compliance. Take a look at our Food Manufacturing industry page to find out more information about the benefits of implementing our wireless temperature monitoring equipment into your manufacturing site.

What’s the best way to prepare a turkey?

If you’re cooking your turkey from fresh, it’s best to buy your turkey a couple of days before serving and keep refrigerated below 5°C.

The Food Standards Agency recommends that frozen turkeys are defrosted in the fridge and give the following advice:

-Check the guidance on the turkey packaging well in advance, to make sure you’re prepared.

-If there are no instructions on the turkey, the FSA recommends allowing 10-12 hours per kg in a fridge at 4°C.

-Never defrost your turkey at room temperature. Bacteria will grow at temperatures above 8°C!

When cooking, ensure that your oven is set to 180°C or above. You can find FSA recommended cooking times here.

How will I know when the turkey is cooked?

The recommended internal temperature for a turkey is around 74°C. The Food Standards agency recommends checking in the thigh of the turkey, as this is the meatiest part which cooks the slowest. With a handheld thermometer from Hanwell, you can easily and accurately check the temperature of your turkey, using a range of interchangeable probes. Our affordable range of handheld thermometers, such as the HM007 are quick and easy to use, as well as having Bluetooth capabilities, allowing you to download your data to a PC or mobile.

To find out more about implementing a Handheld Thermometer into your Christmas preparations, contact us today.

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