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CALSify your holidays

  • Cornell AgriTech
  • Food Science
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Food
What actually is canned pumpkin? How long can I keep my turkey leftovers? What wines are made from Cornell CALS grapes? Let our experts help you this holiday season!

Science is at the heart of the many foods and beverages enjoyed during the holidays. From food safety to ingredients and best practices, CALS experts play a vital role in keeping people healthy and informed during this treasured time of year.

We’ll be updating this page periodically until the end of the year. Be sure to check back in for tips and tricks to help you ace the holidays!

A pumpkin illustration with a tin can
A pumpkin illustration with a jack-o-lantern

Bring CALS wines home for the holidays!

photo of wines and the six CALS-bred grapes

These CALS-developed grapes can be found in many NYS wines. Head to your liquor store & ask for wines containing any of these grape varieties.

Holiday food safety 101

CALS food safety expert Abby Snyder elaborates upon the food safety advice above.

According to food safety expert Abby Snyder and the USDA FoodKeeper app, unless the turkey is frozen, it might be time to get rid of it.

"Leftover turkey will deteriorate in quality over time. In the freezer, microbial growth is stopped. So, turkey can be kept in the freezer essentially indefinitely even though other, slower, changes to quality, like freezer burn, can eventually render leftovers unacceptable to consumers. However, this is not a safety issue, the turkey is still safe to eat. The quality of turkey stored in the refrigerator will deteriorate much more quickly. While there isn’t an exact number of days that leftover turkey in either the freezer or refrigerator will last, it can be useful to have an estimate of how quickly you should plan to use it, so you don’t end up throwing food away and contributing to food waste. A good source for estimates about how quickly to consume food to maintain quality is the USDA FoodKeeper app. Their recommendations are to consume refrigerated cooked turkey within four days and frozen turkey leftovers within six months to ensure quality."

Is it safe to store them outside in a pinch? Official recommendations say storing food outside is a bad idea. But if you must, food safety expert Abby Snyder offers guidance on how to do so while minimizing food safety risks.

"Official recommendations are that you should NOT keep food cold by storing it outside in the winter because of temperature fluctuations and the ingress of pests or animals. If, nonetheless, you’re going to store food outside, you can minimize these risks by ensuring the temperature remains at or below 40F and food is stored out of direct sunlight and is kept in a garage or on an enclosed porch to avoid attracting animals."

More tips and tricks coming soon!

Check back here for more updates on how to ace the holidays.

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