Monday, November 20, 2017

How Long To Thaw A Turkey In A Refrigerator, Cold Water, Or Microwave


Thanksgiving is a time when we share the kitchen with family and friends but hopefully do not share food borne illnesses through unsafe preparation and cross-contamination.

The  USDA and Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), have partnered to give some simple tips that all cooks in the kitchen can follow this holiday season for cooking a delicious and safely prepared turkey.

Turkey Basics: Safely Thaw, Prepare, Stuff, and Cook

When preparing a turkey, be aware of the four main safety issues: thawing, preparing, stuffing, and cooking to the adequate temperature.

Safely thaw a Thanksgiving Turkey

"The Big Thaw"

Turkeys must be kept at a safe temperature during "the big thaw." While frozen, a turkey is safe indefinitely. However, as soon as it begins to thaw, any bacteria that may have been present before freezing can begin to grow again.

A package of frozen meat or poultry left thawing on the counter more than 2 hours is not at a safe temperature. Even though the center of the package may still be frozen, the outer layer of the food is in the "Danger Zone" between 40 and 140 °F — at a temperature where foodborne bacteria multiply rapidly.

There are three ways to thaw a frozen turkey safely — in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave oven.

How long to thaw a frozen turkey in the refrigerator (40 °F or below)

Allow approximately 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds

4 to 12 pounds 1 to 3 days
12 to 16 pounds 3 to 4 days
16 to 20 pounds 4 to 5 days
20 to 24 pounds 5 to 6 days

Keep the turkey in its original wrapper. Place it on a tray or in a pan to catch any juices that may leak. A thawed turkey can remain in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. If necessary, a turkey that has been properly thawed in the refrigerator may be refrozen.

How long to thaw a frozen turkey in cold water

Allow approximately 30 minutes per pound

4 to 12 pounds 2 to 6 hours
12 to 16 pounds 6 to 8 hours
16 to 20 pounds 8 to 10 hours
20 to 24 pounds 10 to 12 hours

Wrap your turkey securely, making sure the water is not able to leak through the wrapping. Submerge your wrapped turkey in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes. Cook the turkey immediately after it is thawed. Do not refreeze.

How long to thaw a frozen turkey in a microwave oven

Check your owner's manual for the size turkey that will fit in your microwave oven, the minutes per pound and power level to use for thawing.

Remove all outside wrapping.

Place on a microwave-safe dish to catch any juices that may leak.

Cook your turkey immediately. Do not refreeze or refrigerate your turkey after thawing in the microwave oven.

Train and Semi Truck Collide In Cocoa


COCOA, Florida - A train and a semi-truck collided just before noon on Monday in north Cocoa, Florida.

The semi-truck was destroyed and the train derailed as a result of the crash.

The truck driver was ejected and seriously injured in the train accident. He was later airlifted by a medical helicopter to a trauma center.


Motorists are asked to avoid the area around U.S. 1 just north of State Road 520 near Beau Geste Road where the crash occurred.

A hazardous material team along with other Brevard County Fire Rescue units have responded to the train accident.  However, the hazardous material team was canceled after the train's diesel fuel tanks were determined to be intact.

Green Bean Casserole Recipe


While the choice of vegetable sides and casseroles for Thanksgiving dinner are endless, one mainstay dish that is often brought by guests to Thanksgiving dinner is green bean casserole.

Perhaps the popularity in this dish lies in the fact that, after enduring some travel to the family- or friend-designated Thanksgiving dinner home, green bean casserole can be quickly reheated without tasting as though the casserole was reheated.


Green Bean Casserole Ingredients:

1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup

1/2 Cup Milk

1 lb Fresh Green Beans or Frozen Cut Green Beans (let thaw)

1 Cup French Fried Onions


How To Make Green Bean Casserole:

Preheat Oven to 375 degrees

Cut the ends off the fresh green beans

Place the fresh green beans or frozen cut green beans in a (1 1/2 - 2 qt) microwave safe casserole dish.

Pour just enough water into the casserole dish to cover the green beans.

Cook in the microwave until the water comes to a boil.

Drain in a colander.  Return green beans to casserole dish.

Pour in the can of Cream of Mushroom soup and 1/2 cup milk.

Stir ingredients until even.

Place back in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup french fried onions.

Stir ingredients again.

Bake at 375 degrees until casserole bubbles. Remove from oven when bubbling.

Place 1/2 cup french fried onions on top of casserole.

Return casserole to oven and bake for 3 minutes to golden onion topping.

How to Cook a Turkey for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Turkey

Cooking a massive meat in the oven like a Thanksgiving turkey can be tricky. That's why the U.S. Center for Disease Control, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), teamed up with preparation tips on how to properly cook a turkey in the oven.:

Roasting Your Turkey

Set your oven temperature no lower than 325 °F.

Place your turkey or turkey breast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.

For optimum safety, stuffing a turkey is not recommended. For more even cooking, it is recommended you cook your stuffing outside the bird in a casserole. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the stuffing. The stuffing must reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F.

If you choose to stuff your turkey, the ingredients can be prepared ahead of time; however, keep wet and dry ingredients separate. Chill all of the wet ingredients (butter/margarine, cooked celery and onions, broth, etc.). Mix wet and dry ingredients just before filling the turkey cavities. Fill the cavities loosely. Cook the turkey immediately. Use a food thermometer to make sure the center of the stuffing reaches a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F.

A whole turkey is safe when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook turkey to higher temperatures.

If your turkey has a "pop-up" temperature indicator, it is recommended that you also check the internal temperature of the turkey in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast with a food thermometer. The minimum internal temperature should reach 165 °F for safety.

For quality, let the turkey stand for 20 minutes before carving to allow juices to set. The turkey will carve more easily.

Remove all stuffing from the turkey cavities.


Timetables for Turkey Roasting 
(325 °F oven temperature)

Use the timetables below to determine how long to cook your turkey. These times are approximate. Always use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of your turkey and stuffing.

Unstuffed
4 to 8 pounds (breast)
1½ to 3¼ hours
8 to 12 pounds
2¾ to 3 hours
12 to 14 pounds
3 to 3¾ hours
14 to 18 pounds
3¾ to 4¼ hours
18 to 20 pounds
4¼ to 4½ hours
20 to 24 pounds
4½ to 5 hours

Stuffed
4 to 6 pounds (breast)
Not usually applicable
6 to 8 pounds (breast)
2½ to 3½ hours
8 to 12 pounds
3 to 3½ hours
12 to 14 pounds
3½ to 4 hours
14 to 18 pounds
4 to 4¼ hours
18 to 20 pounds
4¼ to 4¾ hours
20 to 24 pounds
4¾ to 5¼ hours

It is safe to cook a turkey from the frozen state. The cooking time will take at least 50 percent longer than recommended for a fully thawed turkey. Remember to remove the giblet packages during the cooking time. Remove carefully with tongs or a fork.

Optional Cooking Hints 

Tuck wing tips under the shoulders of the bird for more even cooking. This is referred to as "akimbo."

Add ½ cup of water to the bottom of the pan.

If your roasting pan does not have a lid, you may place a tent of heavy-duty aluminum foil over the turkey for the first 1 to 1 ½ hours. This allows for maximum heat circulation, keeps the turkey moist, and reduces oven splatter. To prevent overbrowning, foil may also be placed over the turkey after it reaches the desired color.

If using an oven-proof food thermometer, place it in the turkey at the start of the cooking cycle. It will allow you to check the internal temperature of the turkey while it is cooking. For turkey breasts, place thermometer in the thickest part. For whole turkeys, place in the thickest part of the inner thigh. Once the thigh has reached 165 °F, check the wing and the thickest part of the breast to ensure the turkey has reached a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F throughout the product.

If using an oven cooking bag, follow the manufacturer's guidelines on the package.

REMEMBER! Always wash hands, utensils, the sink, and anything else that comes in contact with raw turkey and its juices with soap and water.

How To Brine A Turkey In A Bucket Or Cooler: Brine Recipe

Turkey Brining In A Bucket

One essential question that is often forgotten when preparing for a Thanksgiving dinner is "What are you going to brine your Turkey in?"

Well, there are only two answers to this question:  A 5-gallon bucket or a 5-gallon pot.  In a previous year, a reader suggested a large cooler which can be done in the exact same way as a bucket. 

However, the plastic inside a cooler or ice chest tends to be made of a softer plastic which makes sanitizing before and after the turkey brining more difficult (not to mention cleaning the drain spout on some coolers.)

If you do not have either a pot or a bucket, another way to improvise is to use your vegetable crisper in your refrigerator (only when the crisper is located at the bottom of the fridge because you do not want turkey juice dripping down and contaminating other food).

DO NOT, as some people do, try to brine a turkey in a kitchen sink that will come in contact with other foods.  All that you will accomplish is contaminating your entire kitchen counter with watery raw turkey germs and bacteria -  a Thanksgiving recipe for disaster!

While it is widely-known that brining a turkey before Thanksgiving Day makes the meat more succulent by osmosis, what is lesser-known is that flavors and aroma can also be introduced into the turkey during the brining process. So here is a simple brine recipe that balances salty against sweet with a hint of Fall flavors and aromas.

Basic Turkey Brine Recipe for Thanksgiving:


First, the basics:
1 Cup of Salt (table, kosher, or sea - kosher is preferred)
1/2 Cup of Granulated Sugar

The extras, but not necessary:

1 Tablespoon of Allspice
1 Tablespoon of Thyme
1 Tablespoon of Rosemary
6 Bay Leaves
1 Tablespoon of minced or powder garlic
2 Cups of Apple Cider or Apple Juice
2 Apples sliced into quarters

How To Brine A Turkey In A Cooler Or Bucket

Pour the ingredients into a quart-sized pot
Add  two cups of water
Heat the brine on medium, stirring until the salt and sugar dissolve.
Let stand until room temperature.
Wash the 5-gallon bucket out thoroughly in your bathtub or on the lawn with dish soap and rinse well (the soap hates leaving the plastic).
Pour a gallon of water into the 5-gallon bucket.
Pour the brine into to water and stir.
Add a half-gallon (2 quarts) of ice and stir.
Place your thawed turkey neck down into the bucket (remove the turkey neck and giblets from inside the bird).
If the brine doesn't completely submerge the turkey, add more ice.


Half-time turkey flip:

Half-way through the brine time, rotate the turkey in the brine neck up.
Allow the turkey to remain in the brine until 15 minutes before the turkey is ready for the oven.
Wash the brine off the turkey, pat dry with a paper towel.

When do you start to brine a turkey before Thanksgiving?

Brining can be done the day before, or the early morning of Thanksgiving. You can brine a turkey anywhere from 4 to 24 hours before the turkey goes in the oven.  The brine temperature must remain below 40 degrees at all times to prevent bacterial growth.   Never allow the ice in the brine to become fully melted.

More Thanksgiving

Man Exchanges Gun Fire With Titusville Police


TITUSVILLE, Florida - A man is in jail after he exchanged gunfire with Titusville Police at and apartment complex located on Mayfair Way around 5 a.m. on Sunday, November 19, 2017.

Investigators say that officers briefly exchanged gunfire with 22-year-old Harland Ramon Johnson,  of Titusville, who discharged his handgun. Johnson was quickly taken into custody.

There were no injuries as a result of the gun battle.

Johnson was arrested and charged with Discharge of a Firearm from a Vehicle, Carrying a Concealed Firearm, Tampering with Evidence, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Drug Paraphilia.

Johnson was booked into the Brevard County Jail without bond.

In compliance with Titusville Police Department policy, an Internal Investigation is currently being conducted.

Brevard County Arrest Mug Shots November 20, 2017



ESER ESPINOSA AGUILAR
Unknown/Male DOB:06/03/1977
Address:WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA
Arrest Location:, Cocoa
FTA Misdemeanor

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Brevard County Arrest Mug Shots November 19, 2017




JOSEPH THOMAS ARAGUNDE
White/Male DOB:09/12/1987
Address:FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA
Arrest Location:, Titusville
Trespass Structure or Conveyance
Disorderly Intox-Drugs/Narcotics

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Brevard County Arrest Mug Shots November 18, 2017



Jorge Pardron Acea
White/Male DOB:12/04/1971
Address:MIAMI, FLORIDA
Arrest Location:, Satellite Beach
Marijuana - Possession <20 Gr

2017 Green Sea Turtle Nests Hit Record High In Florida


The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) announced a record year for the number of green sea turtle nests in Florida. FWC staff documented approximately 39,000 green sea turtle nests, based on 27 Florida index beaches used to assess nesting trends.


Nearly 30 years ago, only 464 green sea turtle nests were recorded on the 200 miles of beaches that are part of the Index Nesting Beach Survey. By 2011, the count was up to 10,701 green sea turtle nests; in 2013, it was 25,553 nests; and in 2015, it was about 28,000. The counts on index beaches represent about 68 percent of green sea turtle nests statewide. Green sea turtles nest more abundantly every other year, which contributes to the two-year spikes in their nesting numbers in Florida.

 Last year, the green sea turtles that nest on Florida beaches were reclassified from ‘endangered’ to ‘threatened’ under the federal Endangered Species Act.”

Green Sea Turtle Nest Count History

Green turtles, named for their green body fat, were valued by European settlers in the New World for their meat, hide, eggs, and "calipee" (the fat attached to the lower shell that formed the basis of the popular green turtle soup). Merchants learned that the sea turtles could be kept alive by turning them on their backs in a shaded area. This discovery made it possible to ship fresh turtles to overseas markets. By 1878, 15,000 green turtles a year were shipped from Florida and the Caribbean to England.

The final 2017 sea turtle nesting numbers from the FWC’s more comprehensive Statewide Nesting Beach Survey, covering 800 miles of Florida coastline, will be available in early 2018. Preliminary data, based on the recently completed Index Nesting Beach Survey, indicates the trend for green sea turtle nesting has experienced significant increases over the past 27 years.

“Today’s news is great for Florida and shows that our efforts to conserve Florida’s natural resources are helping the sea turtle population thrive," said Florida Governor Rick Scott. "Florida’s beaches not only attract millions of visitors but are also home to abundant wildlife, like sea turtles, which is why my Securing Florida’s Future budget builds on our past investments and proposes a record $100 million for beach restoration. I am proud of FWC’s hard work to help our wildlife, and look forward to continuing to see record nesting for years to come.”

Photo credit: NOAA

Man Struck, Killed By Train In Melbourne


MELBOURNE, Florida - A man was struck and killed by a train while crossing a trestle over Crane Creek near downtown Melbourne, Florida.


Around 8 p.m. on Friday, the man was struck by the train and fell into Crane Creek. He was later pulled from the water but succumbed to his injuries.

The man's identity has not been released pending next-of-kin notification.

Map credit: Google

Melbourne Shooting Victim Identified


MELBOURNE, Florida - The Melbourne Police Department has released the identity of the man who was shot and killed Thursday morning in the parking lot of the Park at Via Terrossa apartment complex in Melbourne, Florida.


9-1-1- callers advised that they heard a gunshot in the parking lot and saw a white male victim lying on the ground who appeared to have a gunshot wound to the neck.

Shortly after the shot was heard, a gold SUV, being driven by a black male was seen leaving the parking lot. Police say that the connection between the vehicle driver and the victim is unknown at this time.

The victim, identified as 20-year-old Devon Sannito-Griesi succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased after being transported to the hospital.

The Melbourne Police Department is currently investigating this incident and if you have any information, police ask that you please call Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).

Friday, November 17, 2017

How to Safely Thaw, Stuff, and Cook a Thanksgiving Turkey


Thanksgiving is a time when we share the kitchen with family and friends but hopefully do not share food borne illnesses through unsafe preparation and cross-contamination.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), have partnered to give some simple tips that all cooks in the kitchen can follow this holiday season for cooking a delicious and safely prepared turkey.

Turkey Basics: Safely Thaw, Prepare, Stuff, and Cook


When preparing a turkey, be aware of the four main safety issues: thawing, preparing, stuffing, and cooking to the adequate temperature.

Safely thaw a Thanksgiving Turkey


"The Big Thaw"

Turkeys must be kept at a safe temperature during "the big thaw." While frozen, a turkey is safe indefinitely. However, as soon as it begins to thaw, any bacteria that may have been present before freezing can begin to grow again.

A package of frozen meat or poultry left thawing on the counter more than 2 hours is not at a safe temperature. Even though the center of the package may still be frozen, the outer layer of the food is in the "Danger Zone" between 40 and 140 °F — at a temperature where foodborne bacteria multiply rapidly.

There are three ways to thaw your turkey safely — in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave oven.
In the Refrigerator (40 °F or below)
Allow approximately 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds
4 to 12 pounds1 to 3 days
12 to 16 pounds3 to 4 days
16 to 20 pounds4 to 5 days
20 to 24 pounds5 to 6 days

Keep the turkey in its original wrapper. Place it on a tray or in a pan to catch any juices that may leak. A thawed turkey can remain in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. If necessary, a turkey that has been properly thawed in the refrigerator may be refrozen.
In Cold Water
Allow approximately 30 minutes per pound
4 to 12 pounds2 to 6 hours
12 to 16 pounds6 to 8 hours
16 to 20 pounds8 to 10 hours
20 to 24 pounds10 to 12 hours

Wrap your turkey securely, making sure the water is not able to leak through the wrapping. Submerge your wrapped turkey in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes. Cook the turkey immediately after it is thawed. Do not refreeze.

In the Microwave Oven

  • Check your owner's manual for the size turkey that will fit in your microwave oven, the minutes per pound and power level to use for thawing.
  • Remove all outside wrapping.
  • Place on a microwave-safe dish to catch any juices that may leak.
  • Cook your turkey immediately. Do not refreeze or refrigerate your turkey after thawing in the microwave oven.



REMINDER: Remove the giblets from the turkey cavities after thawing. Cook separately.

Safe Preparation



Bacteria present on raw poultry can contaminate your hands, utensils, and work surfaces as you prepare the turkey. If these areas are not cleaned thoroughly before working with other foods, bacteria from the raw poultry can then be transferred to other foods. After working with raw poultry, always wash your hands, utensils, and work surfaces before they touch other foods.

Safe Stuffing



For optimal safety and uniform doneness, cook the stuffing outside the turkey in a casserole dish. However, if you place stuffing inside the turkey, do so just before cooking, and use a food thermometer. Make sure the center of the stuffing reaches a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F. Bacteria can survive in stuffing that has not reached 165°F, possibly resulting in foodborne illness.

Safe Cooking


Roasting Your Turkey



    1. Set your oven temperature no lower than 325 °F.

    2. Place your turkey or turkey breast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.

   3. For optimum safety, stuffing a turkey is not recommended. For more even cooking, it is recommended you cook your stuffing outside the bird in a casserole. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the stuffing. The stuffing must reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F.

    4. If you choose to stuff your turkey, the ingredients can be prepared ahead of time; however, keep wet and dry ingredients separate. Chill all of the wet ingredients (butter/margarine, cooked celery and onions, broth, etc.). Mix wet and dry ingredients just before filling the turkey cavities. Fill the cavities loosely. Cook the turkey immediately. Use a food thermometer to make sure the center of the stuffing reaches a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F.

    5. A whole turkey is safe when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook turkey to higher temperatures.

    6. If your turkey has a "pop-up" temperature indicator, it is recommended that you also check the internal temperature of the turkey in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast with a food thermometer. The minimum internal temperature should reach 165 °F for safety.

    7. For quality, let the turkey stand for 20 minutes before carving to allow juices to set. The turkey will carve more easily.

    8. Remove all stuffing from the turkey cavities.

Timetables for Turkey Roasting (325 °F oven temperature)


Use the timetables below to determine how long to cook your turkey. These times are approximate. Always use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of your turkey and stuffing.

Unstuffed
4 to 8 pounds (breast) 1½ to 3¼ hours
8 to 12 pounds 2¾ to 3 hours
12 to 14 pounds 3 to 3¾ hours
14 to 18 pounds 3¾ to 4¼ hours
18 to 20 pounds 4¼ to 4½ hours
20 to 24 pounds 4½ to 5 hours

Stuffed
4 to 6 pounds (breast) Not usually applicable
6 to 8 pounds (breast) 2½ to 3½ hours
8 to 12 pounds 3 to 3½ hours
12 to 14 pounds 3½ to 4 hours
14 to 18 pounds 4 to 4¼ hours
18 to 20 pounds 4¼ to 4¾ hours
20 to 24 pounds 4¾ to 5¼ hours


It is safe to cook a turkey from the frozen state. The cooking time will take at least 50 percent longer than recommended for a fully thawed turkey. Remember to remove the giblet packages during the cooking time. Remove carefully with tongs or a fork.

Photo Credit and Sources: CDC, USDA, FSIS

West Melbourne Police Receive Shooter Threat For Central Middle School


WEST MELBOURNE, Florida - The West Melbourne Police Department released a statement that they have received a threat of a shooter at Central Middle School located at 2600 Wingate Boulevard in West Melbourne, Florida.


The Palm Bay Police Department is also working a threat made at nearby Southwest Middle School.

"Our departments are working together with the FBI and do not believe this threat to be credible, the West Melbourne Police Drpartment stated on its Facebook page. "A strong police presence will be precautionary."

Image credit: Google

Brevard County Arrest Mug Shots November 17, 2017



WILLIAM CHARLES ARTHUR
White/Male DOB:08/31/1979
Address:Melbourne, FLORIDA
Arrest Location:, Cocoa
Out of County Arrest Warrant