Washing chicken or turkey for that matter is a cross-contamination nightmare. Cook your bird to 74C (165F) and verify with a digital tip sensitive thermometer. No need for washing. If you’re in Canada, the temperature to inactivate Salmonella mysteriously jumps to 82C (180F) for whole poultry, depending on the jurisdiction.
No wonder the public gets confused.
It is true that people are what they eat. The foods we eat say a lot about our general body’s health. However, before eating any food, people are always advised to wash them, even before cooking. However, did you know that there are some food types you don’t need to wash before cooking? Well, there are some foods you will wash before cooking while others should just be cooked straight away. Here are three major foods you should never wash before cooking: Chicken Washing chicken before cooking it is very wrong. People think rinsing a chicken removes germs and bacteria from it, which is never true. Salmonella, which commonly grows on chicken will only be killed when chicken is cooked at temperatures above 165 degrees. Washing it does nothing good for the chicken. Eggs Many people tend to wash eggs before breaking them to cook. However, this is just a waste of time as eggs have their own protective layer that prevents any bacteria from getting inside. More so, washing the eggs might remove this protective layer exposing them to contamination which will make them go bad faster. Fish People think washing fish will remove any bacteria on it. Washing fish will only be robbing it of its flavor. Just like the bacteria in chicken will be killed when cooing it, so will the bacteria in fish. Therefore, before washing these three foods, just know that you will be washing off their flavor.
The Daily Tribune News reports that preliminary laboratory findings by the Georgia Department of Public Health have identified the food source responsible for the salmonella outbreak at last month’s catered Thanksgiving meal for Toyo Tire employees.
According to Georgia Department of Public Health spokesperson Logan Boss, preliminary findings implicate catered turkeys served by Angelo’s New York Style Pizza & Bistro.
Boss added the laboratory investigation is ongoing.
Five people were hospitalized and more than 70 were treated at area medical facilities in connection with the salmonella outbreak at the catered meal on Nov. 14-15.
Angelo’s New York Style Pizza & Bistro reopened last week after the restaurant was reinspected and received a perfect score.
I usually pull the pop-up thermometer out of my bird when I cook it. I’m a digital-tip-sensitive thermometer kind of guy. Last Thursday, while roasting this year’s turkey, I left mine in, as a bit of an experiment for my graduate student Minh, like last year’s Consumer Reports pop-up test:
We tested 21 pop-up thermometers in whole turkeys and turkey breasts. Our testing covered pop-up timers bought online and put into place by cooks before sliding the bird into the oven, and models pre-inserted in the meat at the processing plant. To determine the pop-ups’ accuracy, we also measured the internal temperature of the meat with a calibrated reference thermometer. Our findings may make a few eyebrows pop:
Self-inserted and manufacturer-inserted timers generally “popped” in our tests at internal temperatures above 165° F—the minimum safe temperature for all poultry. But three timers popped up when meat was still below that safe zone, one as low as 139.5° F.
Here’s mine (right, exactly as shown). Thanks pop-ups, I was only 20F (and 75 min of roasting) short.
Thanksgiving is a great time to be thankful and to celebrate with family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends in the US. In Canada, Thanksgiving fell on October 9th, my family and I celebrated with lots of good food and friends. We decided not to go with the traditional turkey and ended up making lasagna, enough to feed a small army. Tonight to share in the festivities with my friends to the South, my 6-year old son and I intend on making Turkey and will cook the bird to an internal temperature of 74C (165F).
A catering company whose food may have sickened hundreds of workers during a company Thanksgiving dinner has voluntarily shut down while the investigation is going on. Complaints have been all over social media and prompted a health department investigation into a possible Salmonella outbreak. Employees at the TOYO Tire plant in White, Georgia Were sounding off on social media. They said a number of the 1,800 people who ate a catered Thanksgiving meal last week got Salmonella poisoning. The meal spanned 2 days. Workers who are out sick said they aren’t sure when they will be back. They said they started getting sick Thursday and so did their coworkers. FOX 5 News spoke with an employee’s wife took her husband home from the hospital with Salmonella information packets and a handful of prescriptions. “They gave him two bags of fluids, did blood work did a salmonella culture, gave him some IV antibiotics and um basically he’s being treated for salmonella poisoning,” said Stephanie, who didn’t want us to use her last name. Stephanie’s husband started getting sick Thursday night and got progressively worse over the weekend. He said he’s not the only one out of work Monday. “I can only speak from what I know for sure,” said Stephanie. “My brother in law was in the emergency room yesterday and was also treated for salmonella poisoning and several of my husband’s coworkers that he has spoken to he has directly spoken to have been sick and were in the ER.” When asked how many people are out of work and how many people are out from sickness, this is the statement a TOYO spokesperson provided: “The health and safety of our employees is our highest priority. We are cooperating fully with health authorities as we seek to determine the cause of these illnesses.” A representative at the district health department who said both the caterer and TOYO are cooperating. They wrote: “While we suspect this is a foodborne-related outbreak, that hasn’t been confirmed. Cause of the outbreak is not yet known; the illness or illnesses have not yet been confirmed.” Cultures will take days to officially identify Salmonella and the health department said it could be next week before they name a cause.
A teacher who was flown back to the UK after contracting E. coli in Turkey has died.
Caroline Hope arrived back in Glasgow last month following a crowdfunding appeal for a medical evacuation.
Her mother, Catherine Hope, confirmed she died yesterday at the city’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.
Lynsey Bews of The Scotsman reports that Ms Hope, who had been living in Turkey for four years, picked up the infection during surgery to treat advanced colon cancer in June.
The 37-year-old English teacher had decided to return home to Scotland after receiving her cancer diagnosis in January but complications from the surgery left her fighting for her life in Medical Park Hospital in Izmir, Turkey.
Desperate to bring her home, her family and friends raised more than £31,000 through a crowdfunding campaign to pay for a private medical evacuation, as there are strict rules around repatriations for medical reasons.
Mrs Hope, of Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire, thanked everyone who contributed to the appeal and all the staff on the high dependency units at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital who cared for her daughter.
“I would just like to thank all the people who put money in towards bringing Caroline home,” she said.
My former dean was known as Dr. Clorox while serving in Vietnam.
I used to give these training sessions to food types headed for Iraq and Afghanistan from Fort Riley (in Manhattan, Kansas) and would sheepishly say, I have no idea what you’re going to face in terms of potable water, but bleach is your friend.
Dr. Tur Yildiz Bicer, who is also a deputy of the main opposition group, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), visited the soldiers attended at the provincial hospital and the tests concluded that soldiers were infected with salmonellosis through game meat which was on the barracks menu.
“In the samples were traces of the bacterium Salmonella, which is transmitted through meat, especially poultry, If not well cooked or stored according to health regulations,” said the doctor, and recalled that the soldiers ate turkey meat the night the infection began.
On June 17, 2017, the Daily Sabah reported a total of 590 Turkish soldiers were hospitalized in the western province of Manisa following complaints of nausea and vomiting. It is the latest case of mass poisoning at military bases in Manisa that have been plagued by such incidents since late May. An investigation is already underway while police early Sunday arrested 21 employees, including executives of the catering firm that provides food to the base and others in the province.
The soldiers’ complaints at the 1st Infantry Training Battalion Command began following a dinner. The Manisa Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement Sunday that 731 soldiers were affected by the tainted meal.
The Manisa governorate announced yesterday that food services from the catering firm were suspended and meals will be provided to the base temporarily. Manisa Governor Mustafa Hakan Güvençer said a delegation from the Public Health Institute, the highest public health authority and a delegation from the Land Forces Command that oversees military bases hosting training for conscripts, were investigating the issue. Military compounds in Manisa function as two main training bases for thousands of conscripts who are dispatched to other cities after completing a month-long training course there.
Long-time friend of the barfblog.com and fellow WKRP groupie, Michéle Samarya-Timm, MA, HO, MCHES, REHS (right, exactly as shown) of the Somerset County Department of Health — Jersey represent – has once again contributed her Thanksgiving thoughts, which are shared below. Michele is one of the thousands of front-line public health folks who do a great – and largely thankless — job in spite of frequent silliness from political overseers.
Food. It’s the focal point of any celebratory gathering – birthdays, barbecues, parties, holidays — and often necessitates a fair amount of activity before the culminating moment of actual eating. No doubt about it, planning, purchasing, preparing and serving a family feast takes a copious amount of physical and emotional energy when striving to assure a picture-perfect event for all. In the hierarchy of meaningful meals, Thanksgiving may just be the poster-child of a culinary Everest. It’s a family event that memories are made of…especially when things go wrong.
Picture this: you are preparing a beautiful 20-pound bird, in hopeful anticipation of a Norman-Rockwell moment, where everyone around the Thanksgiving table will “oooh” and “ahhh” at your culinary prowess – when suddenly, and in slow motion, the turkey falls to the kitchen floor and masterfully executes an Olympic-style slide across the linoleum in a smearing trail of poultry juices. You stand there, a witness to the carnage, in a speechless (or expletive-driven) moment of WTF…followed by the OMG rush of “what do I do now?”
How one addresses such a surreal moment and its potentially disastrous aftermath (your in-laws are in the next room after all), is reasonably predicated on your Martha-Stewart-like creativity or knee-jerk responsiveness. Turkey disasters are such common and comic occurrences that kitchen fiascos have been fodder for Thanksgiving themed sitcoms throughout the past few decades. If you find need for a little humor these days, turn to classic TV, to digest the Thanksgiving food-handling practices in such shows as Mad About You, Everybody Loves Raymond, and Friends.
However, in the real world, how does one handle a turkey-hit-the-floor occurrence?
If the turkey is raw, wash off any crumbs, pet hair, or visible dirt that the moist skin has picked up Continue with fully cooking the turkey, and verify safe cooking using a probe food thermometer. As oft quoted by food safety expert Larry Pong, even poop cooked to 165 degrees F is safe to eat! Follow up by judiciously washing and sanitizing the sink and any surrounding areas that might be contaminated by wash spray.
If cooked turkey hits the floor – well, that’s another story. The widely cited 5-second rule is an old-wives tale. The USDA’s Consumer Advisor “Ask Karen” recommends consumers discard food that falls to the floor or comes in contact with unclean surfaces, and goes on to note that food can be contaminated as soon as it touches the floor or dirty surfaces. There is no scientific evidence that proves food is safe from bacteria, viruses and parasites if it stays on the floor for less than five seconds. This has been corroborated by Don Schaffner and the food safety researchers at Rutgers who found the ‘five-second rule’ is a significant oversimplification of what actually happens when bacteria transfers from a surface to food, as bacteria can contaminate instantaneously. Rutgers identified that the amount of moisture present, the type of surface, and how long the food is actually on the floor all contribute to cross-contamination and the potential for foodborne illness.
Decisions, decisions. You could cut away the contaminated section. You could return the bird to the oven for recooking, an additional germ-killing step, assuring the surfaces contaminated are heated to greater than the safety-threshold of 165 degrees F. (You can’t over-cook a turkey – that’s what gravy is for!) You could discard the contaminated food. Or you could just focus on eating the sides. Regardless, come clean by advising your guests – food contamination, and food safety should not be kept a secret.
At the crux of it all, in your home, you are the one in charge of deciding if you want to eat or serve dirty food. Many folks, not understanding the risks, will. Consider however, those who are very young, very old, or immunocompromised as they are all at higher risk of getting sick. Do you really wish to chance it? No one intends to cause Thanksgiving Day food disasters, so be careful in the kitchen, and follow the core steps of Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill. A little fore-thought and care can avoid the worst.
Perhaps the ultimate of all turkey disasters was brought to us in Turkeys Away, a classic episode of WKRP, a 1970’s era sitcom about Cincinnati-based radio station, with an eccentric cast of workers. The well-meaning, but clueless Station Manager arranges his own Thanksgiving Day promotion, to a disastrously comedic conclusion for everyone — especially the turkeys. It’s worth a view, its worth the laugh, and may just help foster food-safe Thanksgiving memories for years to come.
As God is my witness, I will cook my turkey to 165F!
Michéle Samarya-Timm is a public health educator with Somerset County (NJ) Department of Health. She is a champion for handwashing, food safety and getting agencies to communicate food safety in a language everyone can understand.
Yesterday, while picking Sorenne up from school I asked several of the attendees at our Thanksgiving feast in the park on Saturday, if there was any intestinal upset.
I was especially concerned about C. perfringens, what with the prior cooking of the turkeys and the transporting to the park, and the outside temp of90F as we move into summer, but I would have heard by Sunday.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that in November 2015, the North Carolina Division of Public Health was notified by the Pitt County Health Department (PCHD) that approximately 40 persons who attended a catered company Thanksgiving lunch the previous day were ill with diarrhea and abdominal pain. The North Carolina Division of Public Health and PCHD worked together to investigate the source of illness and implement control measures.
Within hours of notification, investigators developed and distributed an online survey to all lunch attendees regarding symptoms and foods consumed and initiated a cohort study.
A case of illness was defined as abdominal pain or diarrhea in a lunch attendee with illness onset <24 hours after the event. Risk ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated for all menu items. Among 80 attendees, 58 (73%) completed the survey, including 44 respondents (76%) who reported illnesses meeting the case definition; among these, 41 (93%) reported diarrhea, and 40 (91%) reported abdominal pain. There were no hospitalizations. Symptom onset began a median of 13 hours after lunch (range = 1–22 hours). Risk for illness among persons who ate turkey or stuffing (38 of 44; 86%), which were plated and served together, was significantly higher than risk for illness among those who did not eat turkey or stuffing (six of 14; 43%) (RR = 2.02; 95% CI = 1.09–3.73).
PCHD collected stool specimens from ill persons and samples of leftover food from the company that hosted the lunch. Stool specimens were tested for norovirus and bacterial enteric pathogens at the North Carolina State Laboratory for Public Health. Based on reported symptoms and short interval between the lunch and symptom onset, a toxin was suspected as the cause of the outbreak; therefore, five stool specimens from ill persons and 20 food samples were submitted to CDC for Clostridium perfringens detection.
Stools were tested for C. perfringens enterotoxin (CPE) using reversed passive latex agglutination. Stool culture and enumeration of C. perfringens colony forming units (CFU) were performed for five samples of foods implicated by the epidemiologic investigation (one stuffing sample and four turkey samples). Because meat is the most common source of C. perfringens outbreaks (1), one ham sample also was analyzed, although consumption of ham was not associated with an increased risk for illness. CPE was detected in all five stool specimens. C. perfringens containing the C. perfringens enterotoxin gene (cpe) was recovered from all five stool specimens and from all four turkey samples; one turkey sample contained >105 CFU/g. C. perfringens was not recovered from samples of other foods. No other pathogens were detected in stool specimens. Collectively, laboratory results met CDC guidelines for confirming C. perfringens as the outbreak source (3).
PCHD environmental health specialists interviewed the caterer about food handling and preparation practices. The North Carolina Food Code requires that all commercial caterers operate in a facility that has been inspected for compliance and permitted by the regulatory authority (4). The caterer had previously maintained a permitted facility, but reported having prepared the lunch food served at this event in an uninspected, residential kitchen. Turkeys were cooked approximately 10 hours before lunch, placed in warming pans, and plated in individual servings. Food was then delivered by automobile, which required multiple trips. After cooking and during transport, food sat either in warming pans or at ambient temperature for up to 8 hours. No temperature monitoring was conducted after cooking.
C. perfringens toxicoinfection (a foodborne illness caused by ingestion of toxin-producing bacteria) is often associated with consumption of meat that has been improperly prepared and handled (1,2). Because diagnostic testing is not widely available, C. perfringens can go undetected as a cause of foodborne illness outbreaks (2,3,5). Diagnostic testing to assist with outbreak source identification is useful to corroborate epidemiologic information, document disease prevalence, and guide prevention recommendations.
Epidemiologic, laboratory, and environmental evidence indicate that this outbreak was caused by consumption of turkey prepared by a commercial caterer operating in an unpermitted kitchen. Inadequate facilities, extended time between turkey preparation and consumption, and failure to monitor and control temperature before and during transport resulted in an anerobic environment conducive to C. perfringens spore germination and growth (6). Prompt local health department response, use of an online survey, and rapid collaboration between local, state, and federal public health agencies were instrumental in identifying the outbreak source quickly and preventing additional cases.
These findings confirm the need for commercial food preparers to adhere to existing food safety regulations (4), including use of permitted facilities and having a certified kitchen manager on staff. Caterers should be aware of the risks associated with improper storage of prepared food for long periods and the importance of temperature monitoring and regulation during food preparation and handling.