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Georgia Consumer: It takes a long time to thaw a big turkey

POSTED: January 3, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Question: What is the safest way to thaw a frozen turkey?

Answer: In the refrigerator is the best way to thaw a frozen turkey, but you must plan ahead. A large frozen turkey requires at least 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds of weight. In other words, it will take about 4 to 5 days to thaw a 20-pound turkey.

Using cold water baths is faster than refrigerator thawing, but the turkey will require more attention. It should be placed in leak-proof packaging or a plastic bag and submerged in cold tap water.

The water should be changed every 30 minutes. This method will thaw a 20-pound turkey in about 10 hours or 30 minutes for each pound.

If a microwave is used to thaw a turkey, it must be cooked immediately because some areas of the bird may begin to cook during the thawing process.

Partially cooked food will allow any bacteria present to grow because it has not reached the temperatures at which the bacteria would be destroyed.

Q: Who regulates amusement rides? A small carnival that has set up rides at my son’s high school has me worried. I want to be sure that the rides are safe.

A: The Safety Engineering Section of the Georgia Department of Labor conducts carnival and amusement ride safety inspections.

The address is Safety Engineering Section, Georgia Department of Labor, 1700 Century Circle, Suite 100, Atlanta, GA 30345.

You can also contact them by telephone at 404-679-0687 or by FAX at 404-679-5818. If this situation demands immediate attention contact Tim Mahoney, Amusement Ride Safety Specialist, by telephone at 404-679-0687.

Consumer alert

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Bumbo International of South Africa, announced a voluntary recall of 1 million Bumbo "Baby Sitter" seats.

If the seat is placed on a table, counter top, chair, or other elevated surface, young children can arch their backs, flip out of the Bumbo seat, and fall onto the floor, posing a risk of serious head injuries.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has received 28 reports of young children falling out of the Bumbo Baby Sitter seat, including three skull fractures, which occurred when children fell out of chairs that had been placed on tables.

The bottom of the children’s seat is round and flat with a diameter of about 15 inches. It is constructed of a single piece of molded foam and comes in yellow, blue, purple, pink, aqua, and lime green. The seat has leg holes and seat back that wraps completely around the child. On the front of the seat in raised lettering is the word "Bumbo" with the image of an elephant on top.

The bottom of the seat has the following words: "Manufactured by Bumbo South Africa Material: Polyurethane World Patent No. PCT: ZA/1999/00030."

The back of the seat contains the following warning: "Never use on a raised surface. Never use as a car seat or bath seat. Designed for floor level use only. Never leave your baby unattended as the seat is not designed to be totally restrictive and may not prevent release of your baby in the event of vigorous movement."

The seat is sold by Target, Wal-Mart, Sears, Toys R Us, Babies R Us, USA Babies and various other toy and children’s stores nationwide, and various online sellers, from August 2003 through October 2007 for about $40.

Consumers should never use the infant seat on a table, counter top, chair, or other elevated surface.

Consumers can contact Bumbo to obtain new warning label stickers and instructions, free of charge. The new warning label will state: "WARNING – Prevent Falls; Never use on any elevated surface."

Consumers should use the Bumbo seat at ground level, but should never leave a child unattended.

Contact Bumbo International at 877-932-8626 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or online at

If you have questions or problems with services or products regulated by the Georgia Department of Agriculture you may write the Office of Public Affairs, 19 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Room 226, Atlanta, GA 30334 or call (800) 282-5852. This column appears Sundays.


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