Consumer Group Calls USDA Turkey Decision Unsafe - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/20/03

Consumer Group Calls USDA Turkey Decision Unsafe

They've blasted movie popcorn, Mexican food, doughnuts, and deli sandwiches. Now, The Center for Science in the Public Interest is taking aim at turkey. Not that the birds are bad, but the consumer group is actually blasting the USDA because the USDA has apparently decided to stop testing turkeys this holiday season and the CSPI says that's crazy.

Caroline Smith Dewaal, CSPI Food Safety Director, says that we approach this holiday season without government guidance on the safest birds to buy and no assurance from the industry that they know how to make turkeys safer.

The USDA tested turkeys last year to ensure consumer safety, but that government agency has decided not to test again this season. So, the CSPI says consumers need to be extra careful while preparing their turkey this year, because it's impossible to know which turkeys may be contaminated.

They also provide the following warnings:

  • Avoid using heat from hair dryers or dish washers to thaw the turkey, instead use a microwave or refrigerator.
  • Remember to use a thermometer to make sure your turkey is cooked 180 degrees.
  • Don't forget the two hour rule, which means no grazing on turkey that's been out more than two hours. It should be stored in small containers and refrigerated.
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