It's Turkey Time!

Adair P Hoover,
Home & Garden Information Center

Thanksgiving is a big day in South Carolina! Traditionally this holiday is all about friends and family getting together and sharing a feast. Food is usually the main event and turkey is the centerpiece. While turkey is the most common choice for the Thanksgiving main course there are a wide variety of other meats and menus served. Regardless of the menu, early planning is the key to success when preparing for a big meal. Establishing the guest list, menu, location and seating can be done well in advance. Another item that can be done is advanced is taking time to review current food safety practices. Most people don’t think to do this but it is important and can be critical if your guests are elderly, babies, small children or people with compromised immune systems. Methods of safe food handling are always evolving so what was considered safe in the past may no longer be acceptable.

The Home & Garden Information Center has everything you need to know about planning and serving a safe holiday meal! Fact sheets that are especially relevant to Thanksgiving include:

HGIC 3566, Food Safety Pitfalls at Thanksgiving & Beyond
This fact sheet provides information on the four most common mistakes we make in the kitchen that can lead to foodborne illness.

HGIC 3560, How to Cook a Turkey
Includes EVERYTHING you need to know about preparing a turkey from the point of purchase through cooking it as leftovers.

HGIC 3565, Holiday Meats – Not Just Turkey!
Great information if traditional turkey is not your meat of choice. It includes information on safely cooking a variety of meats.

Lastly,

HGIC 3587, Food Thermometers: A Key to Food Safety
This is a must read if you are cooking for a crowd.

So, read up and have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving!

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This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied. All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but the status of registration and use patterns are subject to change by action of state and federal regulatory agencies. Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed.