It’s become a tradition — or at least a habit — for Food Safety News to host virtual potlucks on holidays as a way to share our favorite recipes and love of food, and also to take a little break from writing about the potential risks in what we eat.

Always, but especially at Thanksgiving, we’re grateful for the many people who work hard to provide us with fresh, wholesome and safe food. 


For this year’s virtual turkey, here’s a simple recipe for a classic roast bird, unstuffed:

About 12 to 24 hours before cooking, remove the neck, plus leg truss and giblet package if your turkey has those gadgets. Pull off any lumps of fat. Don’t rinse the turkey. Rub it all over with about ¼ cup olive oil, then rub a mixture of 1 tablespoon salt and 1 tablespoon pepper over the skin and inside the bird. Refrigerate. When it’s time to put it in the oven (check the USDA Turkey Roasting Chart and all the other turkey tips at, place the bird on a rack in a roasting pan, tuck sprigs of thyme or marjoram in the body cavity. Roast at 325 degrees until the turkey reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees, as measured by a food thermometer.

Just like last year, in addition to the turkey, our virtual Thanksgiving 2011 potluck includes a choice of two soup starters – Gretchen’s Thai Butternut Squash soup and Andy’s Gorgonzola and Celery soup. Helena has contributed homemade herb chard stuffing, Dan is offering pumpkin applesauce muffins, Alli is bringing herb-roasted winter veggies, Suz has made apple-blackberry pies and Cookson has suggested coconut-milk pumpkin pie.

Thank you for reading Food Safety News. Have a happy and food-safe Thanksgiving.