This topic contains 14 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  Jaffa 6 months, 4 weeks ago.

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  • #3394


    How long can you keep a fresh 3kg turkey in the fridge for before cooking please? Used before date is 27th. Partner bought last night from Sainsburys last night fresh.

    He is cooking on xmas day. Ive put it in the freezer just in case. It says freeze on day of purchase and defrost for 40 says safe in fridge 1 to 2 days others say 3 to 4 days.All i know is for past 40 yrs Mum used to get the capon fresh from the butchers around 2 to 3 days before and leave on top of the washing machine in the garage until cooking on xmas day and we survived!

  • #3395


    @emmas I’ve just bought a turkey with a user before date of the 27th that we’re having on the 26th, I’ve just kept it in the coldest part of the fridge. So i wouldn’t have bothered putting yours in the freezer. I would give it at least 48 hours in the fridge to defrost, longer if it’s a big one. In my experience they always take longer to defrost than the label says!

  • #3396


    There’s no risk here. I’d take it out of the freezer and pop it in the fridge as soon as you can. Then, keep an eye on how it’s defrosting. If totally defrosted, just take out of the fridge Sunday night as it will need a good 8 hours to get to room temp throughout. If it’s not fully defrosted by Sunday midday, take it out then. Just pop it somewhere safe or, what I do is put mine in a bin with a brine in it overnight and take it out first thing Christmas morning. We put our turkey on the hot smoker now but if roasting, using the pre-steaming method in my “step by step” Christmas cooking thread from years back covers how to cook it safely.

    What you have done by freezing it though, is kill any bacteria that might have been present, so you’ve just made it a bit safer.

  • #3397


    3 kg isn’t that big but I would put it back in the fridge now or this afternoon and remember to check it is thoroughly defrosted on Christmas Eve night. ( I wouldn’t have put it in the freezer at all.) Your Mum had the right idea!

  • #3398


    Thanks folks. @dave you are right! I always used to joke that mum and dad would get salmonella but neither ever did. Dad would find tinned pears at the back of the kitchen cupboard 4 years out of date and not flinch about eating them. Onions would be soft and potatoes sprouting like little forests byt still consumed.

    Cooked half eaten Sunday dinner with a pork chop or chicken leg left on the counter in a warm kitchen overnight and eaten next evening!Mum leaves half eaten cream cakes on the counter in the kitchen all day and night and are still eaten. Sterra milk is left on the counter for days without being put in the fridge and mould on cheese or bread is just cut off with a knife.

  • #3399


    Freezing doesn’t kill most bacteria, they just don’t multiply at freezer temperatures, but will become active as food is defrosted.

  • #3400


    it will be fine either way, the use by is more of a storage/starting to smell than a health thing on the basis that you are going to cook it anyway

  • #3401


    bacteria remain in their sort of suspended animation because they don’t have a chance to get going again before you cook them. But realistically some of us would be really stuck if they were dead

    . Fwiw campy is one of those that is a bit tricky to keep viable frozen and there is plenty out there about freezing poultry as a means of control, but not everything else. Though realistically with poultry campy is the main issue for consumers when they fling the uncooked chook round the kitchen

  • #3402


    I read a great white paper a few years back on a controlled study into different foods and bacteria levels after the stated use by date. Turned out chicken and Turkey, even two weeks past the use by date and discoloured, slimy and very pungent, had well below dangerous levels of bacteria and would have technically been safe to cook and eat, despite nobody wanting to.

    I genuinely believe the biggest cause of food poisoning is from things like washing raw chicken, not hygienic practice in the kitchen and not fully cooking the outside surfaces of meats.

  • #3403


    Sometimes smelly and pungent is good.. or at least not bad, because if you have lots of other stuff growing it can inhibit the growth of some of the other stuff. But yes, re causes of food poisoning definitely.

    Geek bit, that is generally the basis of packaging, for meat anyway, it doesn’t stop growth but generally skews it towards the species we don’t mind so much.

  • #3404


    [quote quote=3403]Sometimes smelly and pungent is good.. or at least not bad, because if you have lots of other stuff growing it can inhibit the growth of some of the other stuff. But yes, re causes of food poisoning definitely.

    Geek bit, that is generally the basis of packaging, for meat anyway, it doesn’t stop growth but generally skews it towards the species we don’t mind so much.[/quote]

    My mum will open packed chicken well within date and throw it out. I gave her a lecture and told her to open it and leave it for 10 minutes. If the same smell was still there and strong, bin it but it won’t be, it’s just a reaction to the New air!

  • #3405


    Before a lot of the more recent health and safety rules I had a farm turkey from a relative, so it had been hung in a shed on the farm, as was normal then. I think they have to be chilled now?

    It was a warmish Christmas, like now and when I got it out of the fridge to put in the oven there was a very slight but definite whiff, so what to do? I bunged the Rayburn up more or less as high as it would go, put the turkey breast down and put it in the top of the oven. Went to church for the 8.00 a.m. service and when I got back the back of the turkey was looking a rather more than brown. So I lowered the temperature a bit and put the turkey lower down in the oven, breast side up. When it was cooked it was probably the nicest tasting turkey we ever had.

  • #3406


    I can remember turkeys being hung outside the butchers shop for days, complete with head, feet and feathers (they took them in at night). That was when you chose your bird and it would be plucked and oven ready on Christmas Eve. The flavour was far more gamey than it is now.

    Seeing them in their feathers would probably give most shoppers a fit of the vapours now!

  • #3431


    if the useby date is the 27th why would you think you had to freeze it? **confused**

    I went to buy ours yesterday and the first one i picked up in M&S dripped blood and juices all over me and an assistant had to grab me some wipes. yuck. I was in Lidl later on and the whole shelf of turkeys was literally swimming in slimy leaked juice/blood. People were picking these up and putting them in their trolleys ?! I did mention it to a lad stocking the shelves and he wiped it out with a bit of blue roll. Smashing.

  • #3432


    If the use by date is 27th, you can safely store it in the fridge, as per instructions, until 27th!
    I don’t understand why you decided to put it in the freezer.

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