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Is there a risk of salmonella poisoning if we stuff the cavity of a bird?

Meat and poultry are highly vulnerable to salmonella and the bacteria is only killed by thorough cooking. With a large bird, such as a turkey, it is safer not to stuff the entire cavity, especially if you use a sausage meat stuffing. This is because there is a risk that by the time the rest of the bird is cooked and ready, the heat will not have penetrated to the center of the substantial amount of stuffing used to fill a large bird, so it will not have cooked enough to kill off any bacteria. It is safe to stuff the neck end, which holds a lot of stuffing, as there is less meat between the source of the heat and the stuffing and there is a better opportunity for thorough cooking.

It is completely safe and also simpler to put an onion studded with cloves, a lemon, or a handful of peeled chestnuts into the body cavity of the bird to add flavor. With a small game bird, such as pheasant or quail, you could stuff the entire bird as it takes less time for the heat to cook the smaller quantity of stuffing, providing you do not pack it too tightly.

There is some risk of salmonella in wild game birds as well as in farmed game birds and chicken and turkey. If you are going to stuff any bird, it is important that both the meat and the stuffing are are thoroughly cooked to guarantee safety. If you want to be completely assured that there is no risk of salmonella, cook the stuffing separately. Place in a buttered dish, cover, then put in the oven for the last 30 minutes cooking time.

** Safe Cooking **

15:50:31 on 11/19/08 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -