Your Thanksgiving meal disasters: From undercooked birds to forgotten giblets to flying potatoes

Barbara Adamcik had labored actually exhausting on her first Thanksgiving meal.

Adamcik felt all her diligence — her cautious planning, her consideration to element — would repay with smiles and pleased stomachs.

“It was my first turkey, and I was proud of my culinary skills but quickly became mortified when I scooped out the stuffing from inside the turkey along with the turkey’s neck, heart, and gizzards,” mentioned Adamcik of Freemansburg. “Who knew they put that stuff inside the turkey? Obviously, not me.”

Let’s face it, there’s loads that may go incorrect with a Thanksgiving unfold. From forgotten giblets to undercooked birds and every part in between, a Thanksgiving feast can flip right into a novice’s nightmare or a stress-inducing shocker for expert house cooks.

But as it’s in life, there’s no success with out some failure. We requested our readers to share some Thanksgiving fails with the hopes of serving to others. We even have some professional recommendation on the right way to hold salmonella from becoming a member of your Turkey Day feast.

Our readers principally had hassle remembering in regards to the giblets, that are the guts, liver, gizzard and neck normally wrapped up in a bag and stuffed approach again inside a turkey. If you’re the kind that desires to benefit from your hen, after all, you need to use the giblets to make the gravy and even in your stuffing.

But you must keep in mind to take them out of the hen first earlier than you begin roasting.

Pam Szivos of Bath was simply married and cooking a Thanksgiving meal for her husband’s household. Szivos’ sister supplied to assist in order that they began to carve the turkey.

“She looked at me with shock on her face while she pulled out the bag of giblets from the fully cooked turkey. I was mortified,” Szivos wrote in an electronic mail. “She laughed it off and turned her body to block everyone’s view of the bird. I was so thankful for her quick thinking. Thanks to her we all enjoyed the meal and no one was the wiser.”

Then there’s the stuff that occurs you may’t management, like what occurred to Marilyn Musumeci of Weisenberg Township. Fortunately in her case, destiny stepped in.

Back in 2014, Musumeci and her partner have been promoting their house in White Plains, New York, and shifting to what was their weekend house in Pennsylvania, the place that they had been spending Thanksgiving with their households for a few years.

With all of the stress concerned with shifting, Musumeci determined, in a uncommon transfer, to order a catered Thanksgiving meal from Wegmans.

“This turned out to be a prescient move, because mid-afternoon the day before Thanksgiving, it snowed and we lost power in our all-electric home; this meant no heat, no stove, no hot water, etc.,” she mentioned in her electronic mail. “Although Met-Ed estimated that power would return by 11 a.m. Thursday, we were skeptical, so I called my brother, John, who was scheduled to come to our home for Thanksgiving dinner, if we could move the dinner — and the seven expected guests, in addition to his family of six — to his home in Annandale, NJ. Of course, he said, “Yes.”

So after an extended evening of no warmth, she packed up and grabbed the catered Thanksgiving meal and headed to New Jersey.

“It was a Thanksgiving to remember,” Musumeci mentioned.


Even Morning Call journalists have had just a few mishaps. Reporter Molly Billinski mentioned she had ready potatoes to be mashed — or so she thought.

“I didn’t boil the potatoes enough. So, when I turned on my mixer to mash said potatoes, they instead flew out of the mixer and all over the counter,” Billinski mentioned.

Forgotten giblets, flying potatoes and unpredictable Mother Nature apart, there are extra critical dangers along with your Thanksgiving meal. The greatest risk to any Thanksgiving is, after all, an underdone hen. No one desires salmonella to be a visitor on Turkey Day however you run the danger of unintentionally inviting micro organism in case you aren’t cautious along with your hen.

“The bacteria can still thrive if it’s not cooked all the way,” mentioned Beth Somishka, sanitarian with the Bethlehem Health Bureau.

Salmonella causes diarrhea, fever, and abdomen cramps. Figure you aren’t doing any Black Friday procuring if salmonella makes an look at your Thanksgiving.

The key factor, Somishka mentioned, is that you must be certain that the turkey is cooked to no less than 165 levels within the thickest a part of the breast. You additionally have to examine the temperature beneath the wing and the innermost a part of the thigh so that you’re making certain the entire hen is cooked by. Check all three spots earlier than you resolve your hen is prepared.

Even earlier than you roast your turkey, you have to to take steps to make sure security. Keep the hen within the fridge to defrost proper up until you’re able to cook dinner it. Don’t go away it out on the counter to defrost quicker as a result of the turkey’s outer layer can be sitting within the hazard zone of being between 40°F and 140 °F for a lot too lengthy to be secure from micro organism.

Speaking of risks, who desires some salmonella stuffing?

“People don’t realize that stuffing in a turkey can be very dangerous,” Somishka mentioned. “If you’re making stuffing, it’s best to cook in a separate casserole dish.”

What occurs is that because the uncooked turkey is cooking, its juices seep into the porous stuffing, elevating the danger of micro organism. If you merely should stuff your turkey, you’ll have to be sure that stuffing can also be no less than 165 levels.

Once everyone seems to be completed consuming, Somishka mentioned you must be sure that to get all of your leftovers put away inside two hours to make sure meals security.

Of course, all of us love Thanksgiving leftovers, however we have to remember to use them up inside 4 days or stash them within the freezer.

In a nutshell, Thanksgiving security boils down to those 4 issues:

Clean: Wash your palms earlier than you begin something, throughout preparation and after you deal with the uncooked turkey.

Separate: Keep uncooked turkey separate from different Thanksgiving meals

Cook: Use a meals thermometer to make sure your turkey is fit for human consumption. The really helpful inner temperature should attain 165 F in three locations: the thickest a part of the breast, the innermost a part of the thigh and the innermost a part of the wing.

Chill: If you permit your Thanksgiving leftovers out greater than two hours they’ll begin to change into unsafe to eat as a result of the micro organism begin to multiply. Make certain you place out simply sufficient meals to your friends and place the remaining in your fridge in shallow containers.

More tips:

Morning Call options reporter Jennifer Sheehan might be reached at 610-820-6628 or

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