BANGOR — University of Maine Cooperative Extension food safety specialist Jason Bolton is available to talk turkey during the holiday season, on topics ranging from how to prepare the bird to what to do with the leftovers.
Bolton is a member of the UMaine Extension team of food safety and nutrition specialists available on a statewide holiday foods hotline, 800-287-0274, or by calling the nearest county UMaine Extension office. Consumers can expect to receive a return call with answers within a few hours.
Many public questions also can be answered by various online UMaine Extension publications and how-to videos related to holiday food safety.
Consumer queries typically range from how to thaw a frozen turkey when time is short (turkeys can be thawed in the refrigerator, cold water and microwave, but none of those methods is fast) to how to tell when a turkey is thoroughly cooked. Bolton recommends a food thermometer to ensure the poultry reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Cooperative Extension website extension.umaine.edu/county-offices has a list of county offices and contact information.
A UMaine Extension publication, “Helpful Hints on Handling Turkeys for Thanksgiving,” includes tips for buying, thawing, stuffing, cooking and serving turkeys. It can be found at http://extension.umaine.edu/publications/4213e.
Bolton and UMaine Extension food science specialist Beth Calder offer holiday food safety tips, including with how to deal with leftovers, in an online video youtube.com/watch?v=JqB5RUiUejI&feature=plcp.