Is Pink Turkey Meat Safe to Eat?


Question: I roasted a whole turkey for Thanksgiving and followed the instructions carefully. The skin is golden brown and crispy on the outside, but some of the turkey meat is still pink on the inside. Does that mean the turkey is unsafe to eat?

Answer: Not necessarily. Cooked turkey that’s still pink can be safe to eat, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture — but only if the turkey’s internal temperature has reached 165° F throughout.

As the USDA points out, it’s not unusual for turkey to remain pink in some areas, even after the poultry has been safely cooked.

In fact, the only way to accurately determine whether turkey has reached a safe internal temperature is to use a food thermometer.

To determine if your cooked turkey is safe to eat, be sure to measure the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing, as well as in the thickest part of the breast. When all the parts have reached at least 165° F, you can safely eat the turkey. 

See Also:
How Long Can You Keep a Thawed Turkey in the Fridge?
Can You Cook a Frozen Turkey Without Thawing it First?
How Long Do Thanksgiving Leftovers Last?

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