Handling poultry (chickens and turkey) incorrectly and under cooking it are the most common problems that lead to food-borne disease outbreaks linked to poultry.
Safely Thaw a Turkey
In the refrigerator in a container,
In a leak-proof plastic bag in a sink of cold water (change the water every 30 minutes), or
In the microwave, following the microwave oven manufacturer’s instructions.
Never thaw your turkey by leaving it out on the counter. A thawing turkey must defrost at a safe temperature. When the turkey is left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours, its temperature becomes unsafe. Bacteria can grow rapidly in the “danger zone” between 40°F and 140°F.