The holidays are a time to bring the family together at the dinner table and share memories, new experiences, and laughter at someone else’s expense. At least, that seems to be the latest trend storming Twitter this Thanksgiving with people texting their parents and grandparents asking how to cook an 11-kilogram (25-pound) turkey in the microwave.
It all falls under the #TurkeyChallenge and it seriously has us in stitches.
Some parents even considered it a criminal offense.
Others took it as a teaching opportunity.
Either way, alcohol must be involved.
Tricking your parents into believing that you’re a hopeless, totally irresponsible millennial is pure unadulterated joy and makes for some solid laughs around the dinner table, but we seriously advise leaving the #TurkeyChallenge to Twitter. Microwaving an 11-kilogram (25-pound) turkey isn’t only wasteful, but it could be pretty dangerous to public health.
The biggest risk comes with the fact that there’s a chance microwaving a big bird would leave it undercooked or raw, bringing with it a risk of Salmonella and other bacteria.
“If your Thanksgiving turkey isn’t handled safely and cooked thoroughly, it can make people sick,” wrote the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Twitter. “Don’t wash your turkey before cooking [and] use a food thermometer to make sure the turkey reaches 165 degrees F.”
Each year, the CDC estimates Salmonella is responsible for about 1.2 million illnesses in the US with symptoms ranging from stomach cramps and diarrhea to fever, headache, and bloody stools. Salmonella infections usually go away on their own but can cause serious complications in people with weakened immune systems, older adults, and young children.
It’s also worth noting that the CDC and public health officials are currently investigating a multistate outbreak of multi-drug resistant Salmonella linked to certain raw turkey products now responsible for more than 60 hospitalizations and one death. (Not to mention a whole grocery list of other food items to avoid or take extra precaution this holiday weekend.)
All that being said, turkey-product company Butterball (with its famous turkey help hotline) claims you actually can nuke a turkey and they told TODAY just how to do it. All you need is an adequately sized microwave, a thawed turkey, and some hungry homies at the Friendsgiving dinner table. The most accurate and safest way to check your bird is cooked is by using a meat thermometer in three places with corresponding temperature readings: 180°F in the thigh, 170°F in the breast, and 165°F in any stuffing.