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Johnson County Extension offers resources for holiday meal help

Posted on Nov. 13th, 2012
Press Release
Johnson County K-State Research and Extension
Olathe, Kan. — The Thanksgiving menu — turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans — typically stays pretty much the same. But K-State Research and Extension wants to remind everyone that two common practices for cooking the meal have changed.

According to Karen Blakeslee, food scientist at Kansas State University Research and Extension, washing raw meat and poultry, including raw turkey, before placing it in the oven is no longer recommended. Also, poultry products should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Both changes were made by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Eliminating rinsing raw turkey in running water reduces the risk of cross contamination from rinse water being splashed around the sink and on the adjoining counter or other foods. The 165 degrees recommendation standardizes past recommendations for cooking poultry.

Johnson County K-State Research and Extension has posted videos on their website to help with the holiday meal preparation. The videos, produced by K-State Research and Extension, include How to Choose a Frozen Turkey, Thawing Your Thanksgiving Turkey, and How to Use a Meat Thermometer. They are available at . Click on the “Healthy Holidays” link.

Extension Master Food Volunteers (EMFVs) are also available to answer questions through their Rapid Response Line, Mondays – Fridays, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Extension volunteers are professionally trained in the areas of food science, food safety, food preparation and food preservation. You can contact them by phone at (913) 717-7070 or through email at

Both the videos and the Extension Master Food Volunteer Rapid Response Line are provided as a free service to the community. If you need help with your holiday cooking and baking, the Extension Master Food Volunteers are available to assist you.

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K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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