After the turkey has thawed, the packaging is removed. The neck and the giblets are usually found inside the body cavity so these can be removed and discarded, or if they are to be used, they should be washed with cold water and patted dry with paper towels. The turkey should be washed thoroughly inside and out with cold water and then patted dry. Proper food handling practices must be followed during the preparation of the turkey in order to avoid possible problems with food poisoning.
- The raw turkey, giblets, and their juices should not be allowed to come in contact with any other food item.
- After handling the raw turkey, your hands will be contaminated. Do not touch any other food items and as few surfaces as possible before your hands have been washed thoroughly.
- Cutting boards and utensils must be washed thoroughly after preparing the turkey for the oven.
- Do not place cooked food on the same plate that held the raw food.
- Besides using soap and water for cleaning surfaces, bleach or an antibacterial spray may be used to help kill any organisms that the soap and water missed.