Thanksgiving Turkey Bird Flu Prevention Tips

Duckbill, Wyoming, November 14, 2009 -- A comprehensive study performed by the American Turkey Council has concluded that Thanksgiving turkeys are "unlikely carriers of the avian flu, or bird flu, virus." According to the council, the chances of contracting avian flu by eating traditional Thanksgiving turkey are "probably less than one in four.

With reasonable precautions, Thanksgiving dinner need not be a last supperWith reasonable precautions, Thanksgiving dinner need not be a last supper

At a typical eight-person family Thanksgiving gathering, that means that no more than two, Grandpa and Aunt Gertrude for example, will probably come down with the disease." Despite the relatively low risk, the United States Bureau of Consumer Alarm together with the Centers for Disease Control offer a few measures that can be taken to reduce one's chances of contracting bird flu from turkey

Ten Tips for a Bird-Flu-Free Thanksgiving from the CDC and the Consumer Alarm Bureau

1) Begin your Thanksgiving turkey preparations by microwaving the bird for at least one hour at the maximum setting. The microwaves will destroy up to seventy percent of the avian flu virus. If your microwave is small, the Consumer Alarm Bureau recommends plunging it into the machine with a standard household toilet plunger. (Take the precaution of boiling the toilet plunger for three hours to kill any bacteria prior to using it on the turkey).

2) Some viruses can be eliminated with a standard shotgun blast. If you own a shotgun, prop the turkey up outside by, for example, impaling it on a tall pole, and blast it with both barrels. Be sure to extract any shotgun pellets with tweezers prior to cooking the turkey. (Note: When shooting in populated areas, please have the courtesy to warn your neighbors to duck first).

3) Cook the turkey in a standard or convection oven at 450 degrees for at least 22 hours. This will help kill off many of the remaining flu viruses that survived the microwave and the shotgun.

4) Some strains of the avian flu virus can be subdued through harmonious singing. If you believe the bird may still be infected by active viruses, sing gentle lullabies to the bird before serving. That will soothe the viruses to sleep, rendering them harmlessly inert until they have safely passed out through the digestive tract.

5) Tamiflu stuffing can be just as effective as it is delicious! (Be sure to purchase Tamiflu early and avoid the Thanksgiving rush).

6) Begin your Thanksgiving meal with a prayer to the Lord of your choice for protection from avian flu. (Note: Not applicable for residents of Dover, Pennsylvania). The website provides several suitable prayers, or you can compose your own at home.

7) Offer non-essential guests or family members "first dibs" on the turkey. Watch carefully to see if they exhibit signs of avian flu before continuing with the meal.

8) When eating, chew each bite of turkey at least 30 times. Thorough and vigorous chewing can help destroy some of the larger remaining bird flu viruses. (Note: denture-wearers are advised to seek mastication assistance from the less dentally-challenged).

9) Disguise yourself and your Thanksgiving dinner guests as fish. There has as yet been no proof of successful bird-fish avian flu transmission.

10) Why not ostrich? Ostrich can make a delicious and economical alternative to Thanksgiving turkey. Try it with mint jelly and mashed potatoes. (Reminder: the head is suitable for use only as garnish).

We hope these simple consumer tips will help make your Thanksgiving a memorable, bird-flu-free success. And remember, if you do contract avian flu, contact your local National Guard citizen relocation/incineration center immediately.

Bon appétit!

By Ion Zwitter, Avant News Editor

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