Don’t let the turkey leftovers make you have a “black week”

29 Nov

food safety

Millions of people get sick every year because of something they ate. Many have that experience during the holidays. There are several recommendations that we can follow to help us prepare a delicious and safe Thanksgiving dinner. But this week our blog will focus on dealing with the turkey and trimming leftovers. The four rules for food safety are still important: clean, separate, cook, and chill.

From the moment you remove the turkey from the oven, you have about two hours to serve, refrigerate, or freeze the turkey leftovers, the gravy, and the dressing. Bacteria like salmonella can grow to unsafe levels because the food can go bad in two hours. This can cause a lot of health problems if you are exposed to such bacteria.

If you decide to put the turkey away in your refrigerator, use it within the next four days. The dressing and the gravy should be used within two days. If you decide to freeze these delicious Thanksgiving treats, remember to serve and eat them within one month. This will also help you to have more space in your fridge to store the leftovers from New Year’s festivities.

 Turkey leftovers are used to prepare other tasty plates after the holidays. Here we share a great recipe called Curly Noodles Supreme, courtesy of t.he Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program from the University of Georgia. Bon appetite! 


 Curly Noodles Supreme

Makes 4 servings, about 1 cup each

You will need:

½ pound ground turkey*

14-oz. can diced tomatoes

15-oz. can whole kernel corn

¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning

¼ teaspoon black pepper

3 oz. package Ramen noodles without seasoning packet


1. In a large skillet brown ground turkey.

2. Drain off grease into empty container.

3. Wipe lids of cans of diced tomatoes and corn with damp paper


4. Open cans.

5. Add can of tomatoes with juice to skillet.

6. Pour away liquid from canned corn.

7. Add canned corn to skillet.

8. Add Italian seasoning and pepper to skillet.

9. Crumble package of Ramen noodles.

10. Add Ramen noodles to skillet, throwing away seasoning packet.

11. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes or until noodles are tender and the liquid is absorbed.


* 1/2 lb. ground beef, 6 oz. frozen soy crumbles, or 6-8 oz. of cooked chicken or canned tuna can be used instead of ground turkey


2 oz. protein, 1 cup vegetables, 1 oz. grain

The University of Georgia and Ft. Valley State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and counties of the state cooperating. The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension and the Colleges of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences & Family and Consumer Sciences offer educational programs, assistance and materials to all people without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex or disability. An Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Organization Committed to a Diverse Work Force


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