THE NEWS BLOG

 
Steve and Jen bring you this daily review of the news
Premium Advertiser

News Blog Sponsors

News Links

BBC World Service
The Guardian
Independent
Washington Post
Newsday
Iraq Order of Battle
Agonist
NY Times
LA Times
ABC News
CNN
Blogger

 
Blogs We Like

Daily Kos
Atrios
Digby's Blog
Skippy
Operation Yellow Elephant
Iraq Casualty Count
Uggabugga
Media Matters
Talking Points
Defense Tech
Intel Dump
Soldiers for the Truth
Margaret Cho
Juan Cole
Tbogg
Corrente
Gropinator
Just a Bump in the Beltway
Baghdad Burning
Wonkette
Howard Stern
Michael Moore
James Wolcott
Cooking for Engineers
There is No Crisis
Whiskey Bar
Rude Pundit
Driftglass
At-Largely
Crooks and Liars
Amazin' Avenue
DC Media Girl
The Server Logs

 
Blogger Credits

Powered by Blogger

Archives by
Publication Date
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
Comments Credits
Comments by YACCS
Thursday, November 23, 2006

Turkey help


Wrong Turkey

Need Turkey-Cooking Advice? USDA Has 'Moms' Standing By

By Zachary A. Goldfarb
Special to The Washington Post
Thursday, November 23, 2006; Page A37

The eight people sitting on the basement level of a Beltsville complex are talking turkey all day long. Sometimes, they are called the moms of the federal government.

On Monday, Maribel Alonso, a food expert at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was on the phone with a woman fretting that her one-day-old turkey would spoil before Thanksgiving. Turkeys stay fresh for only a day or two, Alonso warned. The woman, lamenting having bought the bird so early, asked, "Why did I do this?"

"I'm sorry," Alonso said sympathetically. Then she offered advice: Cook the turkey today and refrigerate it with the juices, keep it covered in ice in the refrigerator, or put it in the freezer for a few hours every day until the day before cooking it.

The Agriculture Department runs a meat hotline -- 888-674-6854 -- to call with questions about food safety, and it is Alonso and several other information specialists who answer those calls. This Thanksgiving season, they have fielded thousands of questions about how to prepare turkey and other holiday foods. The exchanges are often practical, sometimes humorous and occasionally moving.

People can call at any time to hear automated answers to common questions, and they can reach specialists from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Today, representatives are available from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. People can also visit the department's Web site, called Ask Karen, at http://www.askkaren.gov.

The specialists will respond to about 400 questions a day this week, and half that number the rest of the year.

There are questions about deep-fried turkeys, electric-roasted turkeys, oven-cooked turkeys. Callers want to know how long a turkey can safely be kept in a freezer, the safest way to defrost a turkey, whether it's safe to stuff the bird the day before, how long leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator and other Thanksgiving-related ponderables.

Several specialists have worked for the hotline for more than a decade. They undergo a two-week training program and receive a 150-page turkey manual, but their experience comes from their backgrounds as dieticians, food technologists and home economists.

Diane Van has been a specialist at the hotline for 20 of its 21 years and now oversees the project. She said the Thanksgiving meal is about more than cooking meat -- it is about bringing together families, and that is one of the reasons she enjoys the job. "So often people don't get to talk one on one with someone in the federal government," Van said. "We give them as much time as they need to answer their questions."

posted by Steve @ 1:56:00 AM

1:56:00 AM

The News Blog home page





 

Editorial Staff
RSS-XML Feeds

Add to My AOL

Support The News Blog

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More
News Blog Food Blog
Visit the News Blog Food Blog
The News Blog Shops
 
 
 
Operation Yellow Elephant
Enlist, Young Republicans