Have A Food-Safe Holiday Season

Last year, more than 46 million turkeys were carved and eaten at Thanksgiving. Turkey is typically accompanied by a host of side dishes and desserts, making the Thanksgiving meal by far one of the largest meals most people will cook this year.

This year, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has created an online Thanksgiving toolkit, available at www.fsis.usda.gov/toolkits, with information you can use to promote a food-safe holiday meal. The toolkit offers those working in public health, agriculture and those that just want to educate their family and friends a one-stop shop for holiday food safety information. It provides articles on brining, stuffing turkeys, deep frying a turkey, properly storing leftovers and preparing a bacteria-free Thanksgiving. Videos on why it’s not safe to wash a turkey are also available along with radio interviews, consumer fact sheets and information on how to order free publications, including the Let’s Talk Turkey brochure.

In case the holiday meal becomes overwhelming, USDA has a toll-free hotline open on Thanksgiving Day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET, with live food safety experts available to help in English and Spanish. Call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854). The hotline is open regularly from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.

Have questions about keeping leftovers safe? Check out our convenient FoodKeeper app. Available on Android and Apple devices, the app provides storage timelines for the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry, for more than 500 products, including various types of baby food, dairy products and eggs, meat, poultry, produce, and seafood. Users can view instructional videos on proper handling and storage of food and can also select to receive recall information. The app is available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Speaking of leftovers, you can find a variety of healthy, quick and affordable recipes on USDA’s What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl, at whatscooking.fns.usda.gov, to ensure your leftovers don’t go to waste. MyPlate’s Food 5 Ways infographics are a great way to teach kids about the five food groups. The protein foods infographic features leftover turkey in five different recipes. Find the 5 Ways infographics and more at www.ChooseMyPlate.gov/infographics.

Though the holiday season can be a difficult time for maintaining healthy eating habits, MyPlate is here to help with a variety of free online resources, such as tip sheets, infographics, and more on www.ChooseMyPlate.gov. Be sure to follow @MyPlate on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, and sign up for MyPlate email updates at ChooseMyPlate.gov/govdelivery.

Turkey 5 Ways infographic
Turkey 5 Ways infographic, available at www.ChooseMyPlate.gov/infographics. Click to enlarge a larger version of the infographic.

Source: USDA

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