If you’ve always had the Kroger deli cook your turkey for the office party or for the family holiday gathering, brace yourself: Kroger isn’t doing that this year.
None of the stores in Kentucky will be cooking turkeys in the deli department this year.
That’s going to come as a shock to many people who relied on the stores for a simple option. For years, you could pick out your frozen turkey in the meat department, pay for it, drop it off in the deli, tell them how many people you need to feed and they would take it from there.
Then, on the day of your office party or on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, you would wait in line for pan of delicious baked or smoked turkey. Add in potluck sides, and you’re done.
“In the past, customers could buy a raw turkey from meat department and pay the deli to cook it for them, and that’s what we’re not doing anymore,” said Tim McGurk, Kroger spokesman.
Instead, this year you can order online a fully cooked or smoked turkey or ham that comes either by itself or in a meal kit, pre-packaged with meat and sides, all cooked elsewhere.
The Kroger helpline suggested the large meal kit that serves 8 to 10 people, for what that’s worth. You can also order sides separately, all pre-cooked and ready to reheat. The large turkey meal is about $80 and comes with four sides, a 10-inch pumpkin pie, and Kings Hawaiian rolls.
The change was made because of “potential food safety concerns with cross contamination with raw turkey where we are preparing so many other foods,” he said.
“And we’re already offering a meal kit that comes cooked that the customer can heat up, which is what most people were choosing anyway,” McGurk said.