Is A "Fully-Cooked" Turkey Supposed To Be Hot?

Wendy was in charge of planning the at-work Thanksgiving feast for her colleagues at her new job, and was happy to take on the task. A series of misunderstandings at the grocery store deli meant that she nearly had to serve her colleagues a fully cooked but entirely cold turkey.

Today Publix made me look like an idiot to my new boss at my new job. I left a job doing events at Walt Disney World. I know how to cover my bases when planning events, I don’t let the little stuff get by me. So when I was asked to help plan our team’s Thanksgiving feast, I was excited.

I priced out the difference between Boston Market and Publix Supermarket for a turkey per my Director’s request. Boston Market was great, just a little pricey for the amount of people we needed to feed. I decided to give Publix a chance and I talked to them 3 different times to make the best selection for our size team. I spoke with 2 people who work in the deli and one of the deli managers. I began wanting the carved turkey breast, I was asked numerous times, “are you sure you don’t want the whole turkey meal?” I said no, because I was ordering what my Director wanted.

I got prices for both and discussed it with my Director and she made the choice to go with the FULLY COOKED whole turkey. It made more sense price wise. I called back and changed the order to a large FULLY COOKED Turkey. Three days before our feast, someone on my team decided to bring a ham, it made sense to downgrade to the small FULLY COOKED turkey. Please understand all 3 people I talked to knew this was for lunch where I worked. I told them how many people we were serving and how we first wanted the sliced turkey because it would be easier than carving a whole turkey.

Not at any time did they tell me two important facts about the turkey. ONE: it is almost fully cooked, aka the directions on it say to heat in the oven at 350 degrees for 90-120 minutes and TWO: they have them already cooked and you don’t need to actually place an order for one.

How is it 3 different people failed to mention unless I have an oven where I work this would not be a good option for a work function. To make matters worse, I talked to the Asst. Manager and she told me the only way you can get a warm turkey is if you bring it up while ordering and pay a $3 de-boning fee and get special permission from the deli manager. What this lady did not know while I was on the phone with her my colleague who was gracious enough to go pick up the NON-FULLY COOKED turkey was watching her on the phone with me and she was rolling her eyes the whole time. Nice, real nice customer service. She did not care that 3 separate occasions someone in her deli gave me very misleading information. She was the most aggravating part of the entire ordeal.

I then got to tell the whole story over again to the actual manager of the deli, the one all other managers report to, and by the time I was done talking to him I actually felt sorry for him. Pretty much he said he hates this week more than any other week of the year and they have had a staff meeting every day to make sure people understood they were not getting a hot turkey. Poor guy sounded so frustrated he had even called people who have placed orders to make sure they knew what they were getting.

In the end he called another Publix that had enough rotisserie chicken and threw in 2 pumpkin pies, but when you order a FULLY COOKED turkey from a deli for a lunch event at work, what are your expectations? In the end we all had a laugh, but this never should have happened in the first place.

Should Wendy and her boss have realized that “fully cooked” ≠ “hot,” or is that the duty of the deli employees, as the manager claims?


Note that “she should have cooked her own turkey at home” is not an option.

(Photo: Alan Vernon)