Tips on preparing a safe Thanksgiving meal

Americans will eat 46 million turkeys during Thanksgiving.

Between picking out the right size turkey, decorating the table and planning for unexpected guests, Thanksgiving can get overwhelming. Fortunately, there are great resources available to make your turkey troubles fly away.  Unexpected guests? Well that’s a different story.

Here’s a list of resources to ensure you have a safe and successful Thanksgiving:

  • Let’s Talk Turkey: This site offers recommendations on how to safely plan, select, thaw and prepare a turkey. There’s even advice on reheating leftover turkey.
  • FoodSafety.gov: Compiled by the FDA, this website includes links, podcasts and charts for a variety of turkey-related topics.
  • AskKaren.gov: Live chat with food safety specialist Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in English or Spanish. The site also has a great database of popular questions and answers you can search anytime.
  • USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline: If you have additional questions about cooking a turkey, you can call the hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854). The hotline is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Thanksgiving Day, the hotline will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

As for picking out the right size bird, a recent post at FoodSafety.gov answered that question:

Estimate one pound of turkey for each person. That’s enough for ample portions and leftovers.If you’re having a large party, don’t worry: larger turkeys (over 16 pounds) have more meat per pound. A larger turkey will feed two people per pound.

North Carolina is the second-largest producer of turkeys in the nation. During Thanksgiving, Americans will eat 46 million turkeys. If you’re one of them, hopefully these resources will be helpful. If you’re not eating turkey, what are you having this Thanksgiving?

We’d love to hear from you. Leave us a comment below or share your Thanksgiving plans with us on Facebook or Twitter.

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