Talking Turkey

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Story Updated: Nov 25, 2013

If you're still planning your Thanksgiving meal, we thought we'd help you out by talking a little turkey!

Here are the top 4 questions answered by USDA Meat and Poultry experts during the holiday season.

What size turkey should I buy?

Plan on one pound of turkey per person. However, if you've got a big crowd coming over, keep in mind that larger turkeys have more meat per pound every 16 ounces will feed two people.

When should I buy a fresh turkey?

If you want a fresh bird, wait until next Tuesday. Some grocery stores will let you reserve a fresh turkey, so you can try to call ahead now.

How long does it take to thaw a frozen turkey?

If your turkey is on ice, you'll need to make your move soon. The safest way to thaw a turkey is to slowly defrost it in the refrigerator, allowing one day for each five pounds of turkey. Translated, a 15 pound turkey will take three full days to defrost in the fridge. After it's defrosted, you need to plan to cook it within two days.

Finally, if you happen to have a frozen turkey on hand from last year...believe it or not, it's still safe to use. The experts say food poisoning bacteria can't grow in the freezer...and that turkey will still be in tip top shape, even after a full year in the deep freeze.

Any way you slice it, enjoy your holiday meal!

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news that can help keep your family healthy.

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to 1.8 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit www.excellusbcbs.com