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How Long Is a Fresh Turkey Fresh?

 I bought a turkey just after Christmas – in-store special $.99/lb, great buy (was $1.79 before Christmas). My question – it was a fresh turkey – will it still be okay to cook for Easter and how would I know if it weren't?

 Well, the question is, do you remember what did you do with it when you got it home? Did you stash it under the bed? Or, and really concentrate now, did you put it right in the freezer?

If your froze it within the sell-by or use-by date, it should be fine. If it was close to the use-by date and you kept it in the refrigerator for a few days, thinking you might roast it, but then decided not to and plopped it in the freezer, and now you want to thaw it for several days and then keep it in the refrigerator for a few more days, things begin to get dicey.

We find the sell-by/use-by dates of our nearby grocers are pretty accurate. Often if we miss a date by even a day, there is an off smell to the meat and perhaps some discoloration. It may not be unsafe to eat, but it may not be palatable. We have gone to the work of cooking a chicken or some pork ribs that smelled a little gamey and found that they did not improve with cooking. We have thrown out perfectly done meat, because after an hour-and-a-half or two hours of off-putting aromas in the kitchen, we couldn't bring ourselves to eat it.

Obviously if your turkey has been in the refrigerator or buried in a snow bank all this time, you should pry open your little wallet once again and buy something else. If it has been frozen since you bought it, there should be no problem.

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