Widower Learns to Manage First Turkey on His Own

Food safety specialist Sandy King, of the Meat and Poultry Hotline, remembers one widower who called the hotline for help preparing his first Thanksgiving turkey on his own.

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DEBBIE ELLIOTT, host:

Now a heartwarming tale from the operators of the Turkey Hotline.

(Soundbite of phone ringing)

Ms. SANDY KING (Hotline Operator): Good morning, Meat and Poultry Hotline. How may I help you?

Unidentified Woman: I need a...

Ms. KING: I'm Sandy King and I'm a home economist, and I've been with the hotline for about - almost 15 years, and it's been really interesting. We've gotten all kinds of calls over the years.

One elderly gentleman called from Florida. He had moved to Florida, and he had lost his wife, and his whole family, all the grandchildren, they were coming for Thanksgiving dinner, and he wanted to cook the dinner. So he asked every question in the book. And on Thanksgiving Day we work also, so we got a call also from him that Thanksgiving Day. He said, now I'm almost set. He said, now what do I do - when do I take the turkey out? How do I do this? And he was so touched that he was just in tears. So he was so happy that his children were coming. So that's really - you know, we do help them a lot.

ELLIOTT: Whatever your story is, you can call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHOTLINE. That's 888-674-6854.

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