The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering numerous online resources to help prepare a safe and healthy Thanksgiving meal. Courtesy of University of Maine Cooperative Extension

ORONO — The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering numerous resources to help prepare a safe and healthy Thanksgiving meal.

The Extension has posted simple healthy recipes at extension.umaine.edu/food-health/recipes that use local Maine produce in main dishes. Mainely Dish recipe videos at extension.umaine.edu/food-health/efnep/recipe-video-series demonstrate a variety of vegetarian recipes or ones that can easily substitute other protein to replace meat.

Extension publications for a healthy holiday, including “Helpful Hints for Handling Turkeys for Thanksgiving” and “General Food Safety Tips for Preparing Food” also are featured at extension.umaine.edu/publications.

If turkey is on the menu, UMaine Extension professor and registered dietitian Kathy Savoie suggests planning for 1 to 1.5 pounds of turkey per person, according to an Extension news release. This will provide enough for the meal and leftovers for turkey sandwiches or a favorite turkey recipe. People can plan on half that amount if other poultry, beef or pork will be served.

The length of time it will take to thaw a turkey in the refrigerator depends on its size. People should plan on 24 hours per five pounds of frozen turkey.

Turkey should be cooked to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees to kill harmful bacteria. The temperature should be measured in the innermost part of the thigh and wing, and the thickest part of the breast with a food thermometer.

Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator at 40 degrees or colder, within two hours of being cooked. Leftovers should be frozen or used within four days; gravy should be used within two days.

The USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline is available from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. EST Thanksgiving Day at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday, or chat live at ask.usda.gov.

For more information, call 207-591-3188 or email [email protected].

University of Maine Cooperative Extension has numerous resources to help prepare a safe and healthy Thanksgiving meal by visiting extension.umaine.edu. Courtesy of University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Comments are not available on this story.