If you choose to thaw your turkey under running water, remember that the turkey should remain in a leak-proof package to reduce bacterial contamination and limit the introduction of water into the meat. The turkey should be submerged in water at a temperature of 70°F or less for no longer than four hours. The water should be flowing in a prep sink at a sufficient force to disrupt and float off loose particles in the overflow. Once the turkey is thawed, it is time to cook.
Just like any other meat, the turkey needs to be sufficiently cooked. The final cook temperature is the same as chicken, 165°F. Remember that when you take the temperature of meat, take five separate temperatures. Ensure one of those temperatures is taken from as close to the center of the meat as possible. Most likely you will cook the meat ahead of time. If you do this, ensure that you have ample space to hold the turkey at no lower than 135°F.
Now it is time for you to serve the meat and for your customers to enjoy their feast. If you are going to hold over some of the meat for other dishes, ensure you properly cool the meat. Cool by cutting the bird into manageable pieces and place in a 2-inch shallow pan. Then place the pan onto a speed rack or top shelf of your cooler. Do not directly cover the meat until it is verified that the internal temperature reached 41°F. If you use this method of cooling, you can be assured that the meat will cool to 41°F within six hours. If you plan to use another method, please check with your local health jurisdiction.