FALMOUTH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — If you're in southern Maine and have been offered a particular frozen bird relevant to this time of year through a non-conventional manner, please assume "fowl" play and discard it immediately.
Falmouth police were informed by officials at Hannaford of a recent salvaging of discarded frozen turkeys taken from the supermarket's outside dumpster.
The turkeys were thrown away because they had thawed due to a mechanical failure. But that didn't stop someone from stocking up and attempting to redistribute them, police said.
"It's not a good idea, it's a very bad idea," police wrote in a "Turkey Warning" Facebook post. "These turkeys were discarded because they were a hazard to consume."
According to the CDC, when the turkey is left out at room temperature for more than two hours, its temperature becomes unsafe as it moves into the danger zone between 40°F and 140°F, where bacteria can grow rapidly.
Simple food safety tip: Keep your turkey frozen unless you're following USDA-advised thawing methods. As soon as a turkey begins to thaw, any bacteria that may have been present before freezing can begin to grow again.
Furthermore, cooked foods should not be left out at room temperature for longer than two hours. The CDC says foodborne illness caused by Clostridium perfringens, the second most common bacterial associated with food poisoning, occurs most often in November and December.
Stay safe everyone, and please do not dumpster dive for frozen turkeys.