(NEW YORK) -- Thanksgiving is only a week away, and with more than 46 million turkeys landing on 46 million dining room tables, there’s a lot of room for food preparation mistakes. If you have questions about preparing turkey, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has put together some handy tips for preventing your celebration from becoming a food poisoning disaster. Here they are.
How far in advance can I buy a turkey?
You can buy a frozen turkey anytime, even a year in advance. A turkey will keep its top quality for a full year in the freezer.
But be sure to thaw the turkey properly before you’re ready to cook it. Keep it in the fridge — one with a thermometer — at a safe temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or slightly lower. Allow it to thaw one day for every five pounds of its weight, and then give it an extra day or two after that. So, if it’s a 15-pound turkey, allow four to five days for it to thaw. After it’s thawed, it’s safe for another two days.
If you prefer a fresh turkey, be sure to buy it no more than two days before you plan to cook it.
What are the most important steps before preparing the turkey and other dishes?
Hand washing and clean preparation and cooking spaces are two of the most important steps. A study from the USDA showed that people fail to properly clean their hands 97 percent of the time before and during meals.
The same study also found that more than 80 percent of people inadvertently contaminate other food they’re serving. This usually happens when germs from the raw turkey aren’t properly washed off a person’s hands and are able to reach other surfaces, such as soap dispensers, cutting boards and spice containers.
When you wash your hands, continuously scrub them with soap for at least 20 seconds, and remember to get between the fingers and under the nails. This will help you to avoid spreading bacteria that can increase the risk of foodborne illness. How do I properly prepare the turkey for the oven?
After washing your hands, it’s time to prepare your turkey for cooking in the oven. Keep raw turkey separated from all other foods at all times and use separate cutting boards, plates, and utensils when handling the raw turkey.
Even if your mother did it this way, do not wash the turkey, since the splashing can get bacteria onto the aforementioned kitchen surfaces and prep materials.
Once you’re done prepping, place the turkey in the oven — recommendations from the USDA for safe cooking can be found here, but the main thing to remember is that bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses are completely killed by heat, so you should cook the turkey fully.
How do I know if my turkey is cooked properly before serving it?
Buy a food thermometer if you don’t already have one. Test the turkey in three spots to make sure the internal temperature is at least 165 degrees: the thickest part of the breast, the innermost part of the thigh and the innermost part of the wing.
How do I properly store the leftovers?
Place leftovers in the refrigerator within two hours of the meal; this will prevent bacteria from growing on the food. It’s best to place the leftovers in shallow containers — this reduces the cooling time and therefore the amount of time that the food spends at unsafe temperatures (between 40 and 140 degrees).
If you stuff your turkey, always remove the stuffing and store it separately from the meat. Leftovers are good for three to four days in the refrigerator, so if you don’t think you’ll eat them until the Tuesday after Thanksgiving or later, place them in the freezer. Dr. Johanna Kreafle is an emergency medicine physician at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, and a member of the ABC News Medical Unit.
Disney(NEW YORK) -- Get ready to grab a tissue. The first live-action Dumbo trailer has arrived.
Tim Burton directs this remake on the 1941 animated Disney classic film, and we don’t have to wait long to get our first glimpse of the little elephant using his huge ears to fly.
"Dumbo expands on the beloved classic story where differences are celebrated, family is cherished and dreams take flight," the official description from Disney reads.
The trailer appears to follow the original’s main story -- including the heartbreaking separation of Dumbo and his mother. But then the circus owner leads Dumbo and his child friends on a mission to reunite Dumbo and his mom.
Dumbo stars Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Eva Green, Danny DeVito and Alan Arkin. It opens March 29 of next year from Disney, parent company of ABC News.
ABC News(BURLINGTON COUNTY, N.J.) -- The "heartwarming tale" of a New Jersey couple helping drug-addicted homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt was "predicated on a lie," designed to dupe thousands of people into contributing to a GoFundMe campaign, a prosecutor said Thursday.
Bobbitt, and the couple, Kate McClure and Mark D'Amico, allegedly conspired to concoct a story to tug at the hearts and wallets of kindhearted individuals, Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said at a news conference Thursday. They initially sought to raise $10,000. But the wildly successful GoFundMe campaign brought in over $400,000.
But every shred of the trio's story, including the part that Bobbitt used his last $20 to help McClure out of a roadside jam when she ran out of gas, was all bogus, Coffina said.
"The entire campaign was predicated on a lie," Coffina said. "Less than an hour after the GoFundMe campaign went live McClure, in a text exchange with a friend, stated that the story about Bobbitt assisting her was fake."
In one of the texts read by Coffina, McClure allegedly wrote to a friend, "Ok, so wait, the gas part is completely made up but the guy isn't. I had to make something up to make people feel bad. So, shush about the made up stuff."
GoFundMe, which has cooperated in the investigation, has agreed to refund money to the 14,000 people who donated to Bobbitt.
"While this type of behavior by an individual is extremely rare, it's unacceptable and clearly it has consequences. Committing fraud, whether it takes place on or offline is against the law. We are fully cooperating and assisting law enforcement officials to recover every dollar withdrawn by Ms. McClure and Mr. D'Amico," GoFundMe said in a statement.
Coffina said the suspected fraudsters might have gotten away with the scam had Bobbitt not filed a lawsuit against McClure and D'Amico in August, accusing them of withholding the funds from him.
He said the money is all gone, most of it squandered by McClure and D'Amico on gambling, numerous luxury handbags, a New Year's trip to Las Vegas and a BMW. The couple also used the donated funds to pay back $9,000 they owed to relatives.
McClure, 28, D'Amico, 39, and Bobbitt, 34, were all charged with second-degree theft by deception and conspiracy to commit theft by deception. They voluntarily surrendered to authorities on Wednesday, and have since been released, Coffina said.
Bobbitt was arrested Wednesday night by the Philadelphia Police Department on charges of being a fugitive from justice, according to Philadelphia police. He is expected to be extradited to Burlington County to face charges related to the GoFundMe case.
Reached Thursday morning, an attorney for McClure and D'Amico told ABC News, "We have no comment. Have a nice day."
In numerous media appearances, McClure claimed she was driving to meet a friend in September 2017 when she ran out of gas around midnight on the I-95 exit ramp near Philadelphia and Bobbitt, who was sleeping under a nearby overpass, came to her rescue. She claimed Bobbitt spent his last $20 to buy her gas.
"I pulled over to the side of the road as far as I could and I was going to get out and walk to the nearest gas station because it was not that far away, and that's when I met Johnny," McClure said last November in a "Good Morning America" interview. "He walked up and he said, 'Get back in the car. Lock the doors. I'll be back.' I was just like, 'OK.'"
She said Bobbitt used his panhandling money to get her out of the jam.
"I almost couldn't believe it," McClure added. "I said, 'Thank you...I swear, I'll be back. I promise I'll be back to give you [the] money back.'"
Hoping to repay Bobbitt for the apparent generous act, McClure and D'Amico set up a GoFundMe online account that tugged at people's hearts and wallets.
"I just got her gas to help her get back on her way. I didn't think anything about it. I wasn't expecting anything in return," Bobbitt told "Good Morning America." "That's how I got the money to start with -- from other people. [I had to] return the favor. I can't constantly take and not give back."
Now it's unclear if the entire story was false.
Burlington County prosecutors said they would not discuss the case until Thursday afternoon.
In August, Bobbitt filed a lawsuit accusing McClure and D'Amico of committing fraud by taking more than half of the money they raised for themselves. His attorney alleged in court papers that the couple treated the donations like their "personal piggy bank to fund a lifestyle that they could not otherwise afford."
D'Amico and McClure denied the allegations.
In September, the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office launched a criminal investigation into the missing GoFundMe donations and raided the couple's home, seizing a BMW and other belongings.
iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday taunted her critics in the House Democratic caucus attempting to block her path to the speakership, daring any would-be candidate to jump into the race and saying she still enjoyed “overwhelming support” to become the next speaker.
“Come on in, the water’s warm,” she said in a press conference when asked about her possible challengers.
Pelosi, who doesn’t have an opponent in the speaker’s race, must win the support of a majority of Democrats behind closed doors on Nov. 28, and of 218 members on the floor on Jan. 3 to become the next speaker. The number of votes needed on the floor could change, if members vote “present” or do not vote, lowering the threshold.
The California Democrat, who expressed confidence she would win a speaker vote if taken immediately, faces resistance from a small but determined clutch of Democrats and incoming members who have called for new leadership of the caucus and pledged not to vote for her on the campaign trail.
At least 17 Democrats have signed on to a letter vowing to vote against Pelosi on the House floor, according to aides and members involved in the effort. Should they stick together or add more to their group, they’d be able to deny Pelosi the votes needed on the House floor.
“Have you seen the letter?” Pelosi asked reporters.
Pelosi’s opponents say they will release the letter once they obtain at least 20 signatures. They argue that the universe of Democrats willing to oppose Pelosi is greater than 17, but that some have not been willing to sign on to the letter.
Pelosi’s allies believe she will be able to convince a number of those critics to support her on the floor, or vote “present,” even if they opposed her in the caucus vote.
She’s been meeting and speaking with uncommitted and incoming members all week, along with the various constituencies of the caucus – including the Progressive Caucus and the Congressional Black Caucus, and members of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus who are holding out support for a number of procedural rules changes in the House.
On Wednesday night, she hosted a dinner for the freshmen Democrats with top Democrats on several House committees, all of whom support her speaker bid and discussed their agendas with incoming members scrambling to lock down committee assignments.
Pelosi’s critics received a boost Wednesday when Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, a former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, said she was considering a bid to challenge Pelosi.
On Thursday, Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., another potential challenger eyed by the “Never Nancy” Democrats, tweeted that she would support Pelosi for speaker.
Pelosi did not appear worried Thursday by the possible challenge from Fudge.
“I happen to think, at this point, I’m the best person for this,” she said.
Asked whether she thought critics opposing her for speaker might be sexist, Pelosi responded, "You'd have to ask those people what their motivation is. I think of the 17, it's mostly like 14 men who are on that letter.
"You know I've never gone to that place," she continued. "I enjoy a tremendous amount of support from the women in our caucus -- from the new members who are women in our caucus -- and so I get the upside, I think, of being a woman. You'd have to ask them.
"If in fact there is any misogyny involved, it's their problem, not mine," she said.
iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Women in Ireland and on social media are showing their underwear as a sign of protest over the acquittal in a rape case where the defense used the victim’s underwear as evidence of consent.
On Nov. 6, a 27-year-old man who was accused of raping a 17-year-old girl was acquitted after his defense attorney showed the girl’s underwear as evidence, prompting hundreds of Irish women to take to the streets in protest over what they say is victim blaming.
During the trial in Cork, Ireland, defense attorney Elizabeth O’Connell presented jurors with a lacy thong worn by the girl on the night of the alleged incident, according to The Irish Examiner. O’Connell asked jurors, “Does the evidence out-rule the possibility that she was attracted to the defendant and was open to meeting someone and being with someone?”
She added, “You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front.”
In Cork, women marched to the courthouse and placed their underwear at the steps of the building “to show that we are not tolerating it anymore, that we won’t be silenced, not anymore,” Fiona Ryan, a spokesperson for Rosa, a socialist feminist and pro-choice activist group, told ABC News.
In an act of solidarity, women took to Twitter and social media and posted photos of their underwear using the hashtag #ThisIsNotConsent.
“Women internationally are stepping forward to demand real change and we are not willing to wait any longer,” Ryan said.
The acquittal also raised concerns over how rape cases are handled, Mary Crilly, director at the Sexual Violence Center Cork, told ABC News.
“There are no guidelines as to what can or cannot be brought in,” Crilly said.
“It’s outrageous that somebody can rape somebody else and then the victim gets blamed,” Crilly added.
Crilly said sexual assault victims may be afraid to report crimes in the future.
“They think, ‘what’s the point in coming forward?’ and I think that’s a real shame because the only way to get these perpetrators is to get them to court,” Crilly said.
Chesnot/Getty Images(MENLO PARK, Calif.) -- Facebook removed over 1.6 billion fake accounts between April and September of this year, the company disclosed on Thursday.
"We also took down more fake accounts in Q2 and Q3 than in previous quarters, 800 million and 754 million respectively. Most of these fake accounts were the result of commercially motivated spam attacks trying to create fake accounts in bulk," Guy Rosen, vice president of product management wrote in a post on the company's website on Thursday.
"Because we are able to remove most of these accounts within minutes of registration, the prevalence of fake accounts on Facebook remained steady at 3% to 4% of monthly active users as reported in our Q3 earnings," Rosen added.
The company revealed information about its efforts to crack down on fake accounts, hate speech, terrorist propaganda and child pornography ahead of a conference call with reporters that is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET.
Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- LeBron James is now fifth on the NBA's all-time scoring list after passing basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain for the spot in Wednesday night’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Los Angeles Lakers forward topped Chamberlain’s place on the list with a free throw late in the fourth quarter.
James went on to finish the game with 44 points, helping his team beat the Trail Blazers, 126-117. He now has 31,425 points in his career.
"When I'm able to do what I love to do, and do it at this level -- and even being mentioned with the greats that have ever played this game -- it just always brings me back to my hometown of Akron, [Ohio]," James told ESPN after the game.
"And knowing where I come from, knowing how hard it was to get to this point -- it's just never being in satisfied mode,” he added.