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Local News Highlights

Wednesday November 26
Thanksgiving is the largest meal many cooks prepare each year. Getting it just right, especially the turkey, brings a fair amount of pressure to the host. The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is issuing food safety recommendations on how to properly prepare a turkey to make sure yours is both delicious and safe to serve. • Thaw the turkey by using the microwave, the cold water method, or the refrigerator. • Wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before touching any food to prevent the spread of many types of infection and illness. • Do not wash the turkey. This only spreads pathogens onto kitchen surfaces. The only way to kill bacteria that causes foodborne illness is to fully cook the turkey. • Keep raw turkey separated from all other foods at all times. • Use separate cutting boards, plates, and utensils when handling raw turkey to avoid cross-contamination. Wash items that have touched raw meat with warm soap and water, or place them in a dishwasher. • Cook the turkey until it reaches 165 F, as measured by a food thermometer. Check the turkey’¦s temperature by inserting the thermometer in three places: the thickest part of the breast, the innermost part of the thigh, and the innermost part of the wing. Steps to follow when consuming leftover Thanksgiving food: • Refrigerate leftovers within two hours to prevent bacteria from growing on the food. • Store leftovers in shallow pans or containers to decrease cooling time. This prevents the food from spending too much time at unsafe temperatures (between 40 F to 140 F). • Do not store stuffing inside a leftover turkey. Remove the stuffing from the turkey, and refrigerate the stuffing and the meat separately. • Avoid consuming leftovers that have been left in the refrigerator for longer than 3 or 4 days (next Tuesday to be exact). Use the freezer to store leftovers for longer periods of time. • Keep leftovers in a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs if the food is traveling home with a guest who lives more than two hours away.

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