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Turkey tips ahead of Thanksgiving

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As we are just over a week away from Thanksgiving, or turkey day as many call it, our attentions are on the preparation of the holiday feast. Unless, of course, you’re one of the younger members of the family. Then your attention turns to mashed potatoes and looking at the new toy catalog.

So, before you dig out your fanciest pair of stretchy pants and get all hyped up about the football games, it is time to think about the safe preparation of the Thanksgiving dinner centerpiece, the turkey.

With the economy being what it is, some people are looking to cut costs on what can be an expensive holiday tradition. Sometimes you might be going through your freezer and find a previously purchased turkey and think that will work for dinner. Meredith Carothers is with the USDA’s Meat & Poultry Hotline. She says a turkey that has been in the freezer, even for a year or two, would still be safe for Thanksgiving. However, you may notice a decline in the quality of taste.

So now you have that frozen turkey, what is the best way to get it thawed? Carothers says the time-tested trip to the fridge is still the safest, but you have to allow yourself extra time.

If you have food safety questions, call the USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline at 888-674-6854 or go to ask.usda.gov.