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Tag: Holidays

It’s Not the Turkey!

Turkey gets a bad rap for causing the post Thanksgiving meal nap. Give the poor bird a break!

Tryptophan is an amino acid in turkey and many other foods. The body uses it to make serotonin, which triggers happy and calm feelings, and is a precursor to melatonin, which controls wake/sleep cycles. But there’s not a lot of tryptophan in turkey to impact melatonin.

What is it then? It’s how much food you eat. We tend to overeat at the holidays which includes high carbohydrate foods, then include energy spent interacting with guests, extra time cooking and more. So, the reason to take a nap can be due to many reasons. Give the turkey a break!

Source: Tufts Health & Nutrition, Nov. 2019

Cheers to Safe Egg Nog!

The star beverage for many holiday parties is egg nog. This is a drink that dates back to the 13th century and there are many variations.

To reduce the chance of giving the gift of foodborne illness, make a cooked egg base. This is done by mixing the eggs and half the milk and gently heat to an internal temperature of 160°F. The mixture should coat a metal spoon. Remove from heat and chill the base before adding other ingredients. Then, say cheers for a safe holiday treat!

For a recipe, see Learn more at


Keep Holiday Meals Safe!

Whether it is a simple meal for two, or a large gathering with a buffet, food safety is a priority at any meal, and especially at the holidays. Nobody wants the gift of foodborne illness!

Are you the host for the holiday meal? Reduce your stress by starting a list now to plan the location, food and recipes, activities and games, and what your guests could bring. Put it in a timeline or on a calendar to stay on schedule.

Are you buying a fresh or frozen turkey? If you choose fresh, be sure to place an order with your grocer or butcher shop and pick it up 1-2 days before the meal. Frozen turkeys can be purchased any time and stored in the freezer. Pay attention to grocery sales to save some money.

Frozen turkeys are best thawed in the refrigerator or in cold water. In the refrigerator, plan on at least five days for a 20 pound turkey. In cold water, allow about 30 minutes per pound of turkey.

Do you only have one oven?  Use a slow cooker for hot dishes. A table top roaster oven can be used like a regular oven for many items. Even electric pressure cookers can cook up some tasty dishes! Some items, such as dessert or bread can be made ahead and frozen.

When cooking the turkey, remember that 325 degrees F is the lowest oven temperature to safely cook turkey. Use a food thermometer to be sure it reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

Learn more at


Turkey Time Webinar

Thanksgiving remains the “Super Bowl” of home cooking. The Partnership for Food Safety Education supports people in making the holiday meal and its leftovers delicious and safe. This webinar will discuss the importance of handwashing and good hygiene in the kitchen. Marianne Gravely, an expert from the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline, will cover confusion expressed by consumers about the main part of the meal — the holiday turkey — and simple guidance to alleviate confusion and anxiety. Other topics will include side dishes and recipes with safe handling instructions built in, and convenience foods and take-out items as enhancements to home preparation of meal components. The webinar will conclude with proper handling and storage of holiday meal leftovers as well as reheating basics to cover with consumers.

Tue, Oct 30, 2018 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CDT

Register at:


The Story of Your Dinner

With the help of the Partnership for Food Safety Education, food safety can be included in every meal. To help in this effort, PFSE has many resources for adults and kids. This is especially important with the holiday season just around the corner. They encourage everyone to take time to gather around the table for a family meal.

For consumers, there are recipes that include food safety instructions, kid-friendly placements to color, food safe baking tips, and more.

For educators, there are news release templates, fact sheets, social media graphics, logos, and more.

Learn more at


The Holidays!

The holiday season is almost here! From Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, many events will happen to gather friends and family.

Keep food safety in mind when preparing, serving and wrapping up the tasty meal. Many tips can be found at

Food pantry donations also increase during the holidays. Give safe food to help those in need have a safe holiday. Learn more at