How long is it ok to keep a fresh turkey in the fridge before I have to freeze it?
Depends, but it sure won't make it to Thanksgiving if you start now.
Is it wrapped like a Butterball or Empire Kosher? If so, there should be a use or freeze by date on the wrapper. If packaging is intact such packaging makes it microbiologically sound for longer than you'd think. Otherwise I never keep fresh poultry for more than 3 days and I mark the package so I know to cook immediately if I kept it that long.
I would expect the Turkey to be edible for about three to four days. Any longer and bacterial growth will have moved beyond repair. Note, if it smells of sulfur, even the slightest, its time to say goodbye.
USDA says buy fresh turkey 1 to 2 days before use: http://www.fsis.usda.gov...
nutcakes is right. Most poultry should only be stored in the fridge for 1-2 days. If it's local and slaughtered and packed on the same day you buy it, it will probably last three days. Air chilled will also probably last about 3 days.
Here is a great PDF that you can print out and put on your fridge. It shows storage times for most grocery items.
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