Copyright © My Frugal Home™ All Rights Reserved. To understand some of the causes of "pinking" or "pinkening" in fresh turkey, it's important to know first what gives meat its natural color. A chemical reaction took place while your turkey was cooking. Take a tour of my frugal home, and find new tips to put to work in your frugal home. As long as the breast meat is reading a minimum of 165 degrees and the thighs are reading a minimum of 180 degrees, you can safely serve your turkey without worrying that you’ll make your family sick. We do not use this data for any other purpose. To them, it means "unsafe" or "under-done. Is turkey that looks pink safe to eat? This pink tint makes some people think that the meat is still slightly raw—a common complaint with Thanksgiving and Christmas birds. Sometimes, when you slice into a turkey, the meat will appear pink. But they also occur naturally in vegetables and water. Myoglobin, a protein found in muscle, is the source of the pink color. *. FACT: … If you purchased a smoked turkey from the grocery store, it’s probably pink for a different reason. Also, as an animal becomes older, its myoglobin content usually increases. Is it safe to serve to your guests? "Ground poultry is the most difficult to see (if it's fresh) visually. When you cook your Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter turkey, you want to be sure it is properly cooked and safe to eat. 4. So, turkeys are exposed to both through their food. "We had a big family argument at Thanksgiving dinner. View our Privacy Policy. If you got a safe temperature reading off of your turkey, it’s time to get it carved and on the table. Meat that’s been grilled outdoors often does, too. Why is Poultry Lighter in Color Than Beef? We collect your name, email and IP address, when you post a comment for the purpose of responding to comments and preventing spam. Scientists have found that pinkness occurs when gases in the atmosphere of a heated gas... Natural Presence of Nitrites. It could go bad before it even browns, so that's why you need to eat it immediately," said Peisker. Since young birds also tend to have thinner skin, with less fat, the gases from the oven are able to penetrate further into the meat, where they react chemically with the myoglobin. The pink, red or white coloration of meat is due primarily to oxygen-storing myoglobin which is located in the muscle cells and retains the oxygen brought by the blood until the cells need it. You spent all day roasting your turkey. Turkeys do a lot of standing around, but little if any flying, so their wing and breast muscles are white; their legs, dark. View our disclosure. If enough nitrites and nitrates are present, it can give the meat a pink tinge. Here are step-by-step instructions to take you through the carving process. no, turkey is not safe if it's slightly pink don't eat it and if I were you I would take it back to the deli The color pink in cooked turkey meat raises a "red flag" to many diners and cooks. By Thursday or Friday, however, the lunch meat often begins to look a little suspicious, and you’re left wondering if those last slices are safe to eat. Smoked turkey meat always has a pink tinge to it. Here are step-by-step instructions to take you through the carving process. The major reason that poultry meat is much lighter in color than beef is that it is dramatically lower in myoglobin. ", "I cooked my turkey until done according to the directions, but when I sliced the breast meat, it was still pink near the bone," said an Oklahoma caller. Nitrites and nitrates are often added to cured meats, like bacon and ham, to make them pink. The color of cooked poultry is not always a sure sign of its safety. 1. Young turkeys have porous bones, which makes it easier for hemoglobin to leach into the meat. In fact, if you followed the cooking instructions carefully, it probably isn’t a sign of any problem at all. young) turkey, it’s likely caused by hemoglobin leaching into the meat around the bone. Why Are White & Dark Meat of Poultry Different Colors? Turkey can remain pink even after cooking to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F. Is Pink Turkey Meat Safe Chemical Changes During Cooking. In fact, turkey, fresh pork, ground beef and veal can all remain pink even after cooking to temperatures of 160ºF and higher. Numerous callers to the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline report being alarmed when seeing "pink." Smoked turkey meat always has a pink tinge to it. Only by using a food thermometer can one accurately determine that poultry has reached a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F throughout the product. While it might not be Pinterest-worthy, this bird is safe to eat. 2. This causes the meat to look pink close to the bone. Your email address will not be published. You smoked or grilled your turkey. Here are four common causes for pink turkey: This turkey was smoked, as a result, the meat is pink all the way through.