Sunday, October 13, 2013

Salmonella Scare

A good number of antibiotic-resistant cases of salmonella have been traced to the popular brand Foster Farms.

Here is why you don't need to stop eating chicken, of any brand:

  • A significant percentage of all kinds of meat, eggs, and dairy products on the market carry salmonella, yet few people get sick from it because we have the knowledge to avoid poisoning our family.  Even if the raw version of...say milk... carried some bacteria, it has since been pasteurized.  If a whole chicken or turkey is affected, we don't generally eat chicken raw.
  • Salmonella is one of those bacteria that most affect the young, elderly, and infirm unless ingested in great quantities.  Even then, it is eradicated at a mere 165º, well below even the boiling point of water.  A pre-cooked chicken nugget or similarly processed and then frozen food only needs to be reheated to 135º.  (Almost missed that question on my test.)
  • Now that we know the source of this contamination, it will be remedied.  There may not even be a recall because it is expected that the product will be cooked properly before eating.

Things you can do at home to reduce your chances of contracting or spreading salmonella, or any foodborne illness:

  • Wash your hands before cooking, between cooking tasks, and after washing dishes.  Sounds simple, but this is where most problems occur.
  • Have separate cutting boards for veggies, chicken, fish, and meat.  Barring that, fill a basic spray bottle with cold water and add a mere capful of bleach.  After washing and rinsing the board, spray it lightly with this sanitizer and let it air dry.
  • Wash things that have touched raw food after pots that held cooked food.  Run your scrubbies and sponges through the dishwasher at least once a week and change them every month.  Sanitize your countertops and sink after cooking with that same bleach spray.
  • Cook potentially hazardous foods to at least their recommended temperatures.
With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, I don't want anyone to think they can't serve a turkey because it may have come from the same plant as these chickens.  Just pay attention and don't undercook it because everything else is ready and it's "close enough".  165º-175º in the oven for a large fowl, plus a half hour of resting time on the counter for the temps to even out.  End of story.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I got tired of having to moderate all the spam comments and put back the verification. Sorry if it causes hassles.