With this year’s string of frozen food recalls fresh in consumers’ minds, cooks and diners may be more concerned than usual about the safety of their Thanksgiving dinner.
The USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline, 888-674-6854, which has handled more than 2 million calls since it began in 1985, answers questions from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern time Monday through Friday and will take calls on Thanksgiving Day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
But for an immediate answer anytime, consumers can consult “Karen,” a virtual representative available 24/7 at www.fsis.usda.gov. Launched in 2004, the “Ask Karen” service taps into a database of more than 9,300 questions about the safe handling of meat, poultry and eggs and the prevention of food-borne illnesses. Here Karen addresses some typical Turkey Day dilemmas.
Question: Are frozen turkeys safe?
Answer: All turkeys found in retail stores are either inspected by the United States Department of Agriculture or by state systems which have standards equivalent to the federal government. Each turkey and its internal organs are inspected for evidence of disease. The Inspected for Wholesomeness by the U.S. Department of Agriculture seal ensures that it is wholesome, properly labeled and not adulterated. Continue reading
Dig a pit 1-1/2-times the size of the turkey. Secure the pit’s sides with chicken wire to keep dirt from crumbling onto the bird. Salt and pepper unstuffed turkey; wrap with ti leaves, then with cheesecloth, then with chicken wire. Place red hot coals or river rocks in the bottom of the pit, top with a layer of ti leaves. Place turkey on the ti leaves; cover with more leaves, then more hot material. Cover the pit with nonflammable heavy material. Cook for 5 hours.
Check the turkey at 4 hours using a metal skewer or knife for temperature and ease of penetration. When the still-wrapped turkey is done, remove it and put on a platter. Remove cheesecloth. The meat literally will fall off the bone, Kinoshita promised.
Calavo Growers, Inc. (Nasdaq:CVGW), a worldwide leader in packing and distributing of fresh and processed avocados and other perishable food products, today commented on the strategic benefits it anticipates from the addition of Maui Gold® pineapples to its distribution system.
On Nov. 2, 2007, Maui Land and Pineapple Co. (AMEX:MLP) announced that its agricultural subsidiary, Maui Pineapple Company Ltd., entered into an agreement with Calavo. Under terms of that agreement, beginning Dec. 1, 2007, Calavo will sell, market and distribute Maui Pineapple Company’s Maui Gold fresh product throughout the continental United States and Canada.
The following is a statement from Calavo Chairman, President and CEO Lee E. Cole on the favorable implications of the agreement for the company:
"Our agreement with Maui Pineapple Company is significant on many levels–strategic, operational and financial.
"First, we anticipate that sales of Maui Gold fresh pineapples will contribute $25-30 million in revenues to Calavo’s top line in fiscal 2008, as well as become immediately accretive to earnings.
"Second, the addition of Maui Gold pineapples to our fresh-product lineup is a strong, natural complement to Calavo’s market leadership in Hawaiian-grown Kapoho Solo papayas. In addition, we sell a range of other tropical-produce offerings from the islands. I am confident to say that, through this significant expansion into the pineapple category, Calavo will immediately become the largest distributor and marketer of fresh commodity produce grown in Hawaii, and am duly proud of the company’s economic contribution to the islands.