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Originally published November 8, 2006 at 12:00 AM | Page modified November 10, 2006 at 11:50 AM

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Safety tips for precooked turkey dinner

If you buy a precooked turkey dinner, keep the food at safe temperatures before serving. • For safety's sake, food must be kept below...

If you buy a precooked turkey dinner, keep the food at safe temperatures before serving.

• For safety's sake, food must be kept below 40 degrees or above 140 degrees.

More tips for planning your feast

Don't miss Holiday Cuisine 2006: His-and-hers turkeys, plus ideas for other main dishes, sides, appetizers desserts and holiday wines.

• Food-safety experts recommend when buying a precooked turkey, the stuffing should be cooked separately. They advise against buying stuffed turkeys.

• It's best to pick up the hot dinner just before it's to be eaten. Drive directly home and keep it above 140 degrees while you're adding the finishing touches. Eat it right away.

• If you pick up the turkey the day before, or more than an hour before it's to be eaten, carve the meat from the bone and refrigerate it. (A whole hot turkey will take too long to cool down in a home refrigerator.) Slice all the turkey and refrigerate it; or the breast meat, legs and wings may be left whole and refrigerated.

• When reheating, add a little broth to keep the meat moist.

• When reheating gravy, bring it to a rolling boil for one minute, then simmer for five minutes.

• Stuffing must be reheated to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

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