The National Turkey Federation (NTF) reports over 690 millions pounds of turkey are consumed every Thanksgiving. Wow! That's a lot of turkey! Just imagine how much turkey becomes our beloved leftovers. According to the NTF, the top five ways consumers eat leftover turkey are:
1. Sandwiches (67%)
2. Soups or Stews (20%)
3. Salads (14%)
4. Casseroles (12%)
5. Stir-frys (6%)
So, how will you be enjoying your leftover turkey after Thanksgiving? When I was a kid, we ate leftover turkey every day for lunch and dinner the entire week after Thanksgiving (thank goodness we were spared breakfasts). It got to the point that just hearing the word "turkey" made me want to run off screaming. Now, I know a lot more about turkey leftovers than I did back then – all the good, the bad, and the ugly!
Nutrients in turkey have been found to keep blood cholesterol down, boost the immune system, regulate blood pressure, protect against birth defects, cancer and heart disease, aid in nerve function and growth, and assist in healing processes. In addition…
The only bad thing about turkey leftovers is that we can get Salmonella food poisoning if we're not careful. As busy as we are on Thanksgiving Day, it's easy for time to zip by when it comes to stashing those leftovers into the fridge. Be sure to follow these leftover storage safety precautions so your memories of the holiday won't turn bad.
OK. So you haven't followed the advice on turkey leftover safety. You might find yourself with an ugly case of Salmonella food poisoning, which could mean diarrhea, cramping, fever and chills, sweats, vomiting, headache, fatigue, and loss of appetite. It could get even uglier if shock sets in due to dehydration from prolonged diarrhea. This can be deadly, especially in infants and people over 60. Bacteria can also infect other parts of the body if they get into the bloodstream. All this can be prevented by taken the necessary precautions when storing leftover turkey.
Don't wait until Thanksgiving Day to decide what you'll do with all the leftovers. Find some time before the big day to Google turkey leftover recipes. This preplanning will give you a better idea of how much meat to leave out for a few meals after the holiday and how much to freeze. Immediately freezing a good portion of the leftover turkey will let you enjoy those leftovers a few weeks later, as well. Preplanning will help Thanksgiving Day go more smoothly by making the storing of the leftovers faster and easier…and, hopefully, safer too.
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