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Keep Your Thanksgiving Feast Safe and Local
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Because local products spend less time traveling to the dinner table, selecting Michigan-made and grown products helps ensure the freshness and nutritional value of a meal. Buying local products also supports local farmers, communities, and the state’s economy.


Source: Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

Turkeys and Potatoes and Pies, Oh, MI!


Keep Your Thanksgiving Feast Safe, Local and Delicious

Enjoying Michigan’s bountiful selection of Thanksgiving fare is a tradition shared by many families each year. Today, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Keith Creagh encouraged consumers to have a Pure Michigan Thanksgiving by buying Michigan food and agricultural items when preparing for their annual traditional feast.

“Much of the traditional Thanksgiving fare is grown or produced right here in Michigan, including turkeys, potatoes, apples and pumpkin pie with ice cream, plus a wide variety of fine wines and microbrews to complement your favorite recipes," said Creagh. "By choosing locally grown and processed foods you are supporting those businesses who call Michigan home. I’m asking everyone to join me in giving thanks for our state’s bountiful food and agriculture products this holiday season by buying Michigan.”

Because local products spend less time traveling to the dinner table, selecting Michigan-made and grown products helps ensure the freshness and nutritional value of a meal. Buying local products also supports local farmers, communities, and the state’s economy.

Michigan wineries produce several styles of wine that complement the traditional Thanksgiving feast. A semi-dry Riesling or Pinot Grigio will pair well with slightly sweet components of the meal like sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce. A drier Riesling will go perfectly with any turkey stuffing.

"Additionally, our Facebook page features seasonal recipes made with Michigan products to round out your meal," said Creagh. "Recipes include how to make your stuffing with Michigan breads, celery and onions or a tasty pie with Michigan apples or pumpkins - the possibilities are endless."

In addition to choosing Michigan products, it’s critical that families follow these quick tips to ensure a safe and delicious Thanksgiving meal:

Turkey Preparation Tips

  • Stuffing a turkey is not recommended for optimum safety.
  • Pre-stuffed frozen turkeys shouldn't be thawed before cooking. Closely follow package directions. Using a meat thermometer, the temperature at the center of the stuffing must reach a minimum of 165°F.
  • If buying a fresh turkey, be sure to purchase it one or two days before cooking.
  • Never defrost food on countertops, use a refrigerator or cold running water.
  • A thawed turkey should only be refrigerated for one to two days. (For every five pounds of turkey, allow about 24 hours of thawing time in a refrigerator or cold running water.)
  • Using a meat thermometer, the temperature of the whole turkey should reach a minimum internal temperature of 165° F in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast.

General Safe Food Handling Guidelines

  • Start with the basics - always wash hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before, during and after handling food.
  • Use separate utensils, cutting boards and serving dishes for raw and cooked foods, and wash thoroughly with warm, soapy water before re-using.
  • Never leave perishable food out of the refrigerator for more than two hours.
  • Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot.

For more information regarding Michigan food products or for additional food safety tips, visit www.michigan.gov/mdard or www.michigan.gov/foodsafety.