General chatter - Random Rant - Salmonella & Turkeys




PhotoChick
11-27-2008, 10:34 AM
Please forgive me a random seasonal rant. I'm just so frustrated with all of these comments about salmonella (not just here, but elsewhere, and in person) that are so totally, 100% WRONG.

I'd like to establish couple of facts up front:

Eating/cooking/rinsing/brining/storing/freezing/thawing a turkey does not "give" it salmonella.
The juice, water, liquid, skin, meat of EVERY turkey does not contain or create salmonella.
Having a turkey in your home is not an immediate automatic incidence of salmonella.

Salmonella is a BACTERIA that infects the turkey (or other poultry, or poultry products including eggs) while it's alive. That bacteria can then be spread to other turkeys during killing and processing and/or to the person who consumes that bacteria if it's not properly cooked to a temperature that will kill it.


Now for some further facts:

According to the FDA fewer than 10% of all the turkeys sold in the US are contaminated with salmonella. (In an odd quirk: Free-range and organic turkeys are MORE likely to have salmonella, because they don't get the vaccinations that are available that can prevent the infection. )

It is wise to assume that your turkey *could* be infected and take the proper precautions. That means not allowing cross contamination (using different knives, cutting boards, bowls, etc. for raw turkey) and cooking the meat thoroughly.

However. Either your turkey is infected or it isn't. You cannot GIVE YOUR TURKEY SALMONELLA. Thawing a turkey in water goes not "give it" salmonella. Brining a turkey does not "give it" salmonella. Undercooking a turkey does not "give it" salmonella.

Please let me say this again: YOU CANNOT GIVE A TURKEY SALMONELLA BY HOW YOU HANDLE IT.

Thank you for allowing me my seasonal rant.

.


Diva
11-27-2008, 11:28 AM
:)

Hun.e.B
11-27-2008, 11:31 AM
excellent info!! I was not aware of that at all! Good to know thanks!


ddc
11-27-2008, 11:37 AM
http://www.butterball.com/tips-how-tos/tips/food-safety

Tips on not spreading salmonella around your kitchen.

Happy Thanksgiving :)

lizziep
11-27-2008, 01:25 PM
heh- that was good. some of that info i didn't know.

now if we can work on people that say they're going to "UNTHAW" their turkey please... :D

i will admit to being one of those paranoid germ people. i did wipe down everything with clorox wipes last night when my bag of brine and bird exploded and covered my entire kitchen with juice and debris. lol. would have done the same for any meat though. :D

PhotoChick
11-27-2008, 02:30 PM
Oh I have no problem with people being careful. Just don't tell me not to brine my turkey because I'll "give it" salmonella!! :D

And I'm with ya 100% on the "unthaw" ... wouldn't that be ... um ... FREEZE? :)

.

Princess0113
11-27-2008, 04:30 PM
lol hilarious! :lol: i've never heard anyone say "give a turkey salmonella," but i know a lot of people assume every turkey/chicken/egg has it and they have to cook it out. people always scrunch their noses at me when i taste raw cookie batter that has eggs in it. "you'll get salmonella!" i know, i know. someday i may end up eating an infected egg, but so far all my tasty batter has been bacteria free. guess i like to live on the edge! :D LOL

GatorgalstuckinGA
11-27-2008, 04:32 PM
really photochick..i can't ppl believe people state that brining you turkey will give you salmonella. Do ppl know that before refrigeration happened, ppl used brining and salting to kill bacteria and make their meat last longer.
Brining solutions will usually kill bacteria due to the high salt content. It kills the bacteria's cell wall and makes them die.

Glad you posted that...i'm not afraid to poultry...but i Always practice good handling techniques. I have a cutting board for meat only and always wash my hands. Also, raw meat is always stored below everthing...but that's just what you should be doing.

PhotoChick
11-27-2008, 04:48 PM
Always practice good handling techniques. I have a cutting board for meat only and always wash my hands. Also, raw meat is always stored below everthing...but that's just what you should be doing.Exactly!!!

Princess, I taste cookie batter too. I also taste my stuffing (which has egg in it) and many other things for seasoning before they're cooked. I figure the odds are pretty low. Also if you're otherwise healthy (and not a child or elderly), then ingesting a tiny amount of the bacteria is unlikely to do you any harm.

People just get paranoid. :)

.

GatorgalstuckinGA
11-27-2008, 08:43 PM
i think part of the problem is people don't eat enough germs. We have too many antibacterial soaps, kids don't get to play in the dirt enough. I too eat raw cookie dough (its da bomb!). I have done good so far, I think i've let my body get use to germs and so its not so sensitive.

Wolf Goddess
11-27-2008, 09:04 PM
i think part of the problem is people don't eat enough germs. We have too many antibacterial soaps, kids don't get to play in the dirt enough.

I agree with this 100%. My grandmother said she and my grandfather took mayo sandwiches (home-made mayo, too) to work and would leave them in their lockers at room temperature until lunchtime. Miraculously, they never got sick. I have no evidence as to why, but I'd be willing to bet that their systems had built up to any bacteria that would start to grow in the mayo.

Not that I'm advocating people to eat room-temp mayo, but it brings up a point; you will not keel over if you do not stick to all of these food safety "laws" that we're bombarded with.

Ookpik
11-27-2008, 09:13 PM
I do that too, if I bring a sandwich in to work, I will leave it in my lunch bag until lunch, and have never gotten sick from the mayo. I agree that some people are paranoid about food, products (all those "informative" e-mails from "doctors" warning about diseases...for example, asbestos in tampons???) and other things.

Caution is good, though...I did happen to get salmonella poisoning one time from chicken I undercooked. I tossed it in the oven as soon as I realized it but still got some of the bacteria. I missed two weeks of work and lost 17 pounds during that time and it was ****!

kaplods
11-27-2008, 09:14 PM
We were talking about this in another thread too, and I mentioned that my immune system seems to be getting stronger than it's ever been, and I think in part, it's due to my "exercising it" more. Since marrying my husband six years ago, I take a lot more food risks than I ever have before (until I met him, I never ate a piece of meat cooked less than medium-well).

We watch alot of shows on Travel Channel and Food Network, and after watching people (like Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods and Bizarre Worlds, and Anthony Bourndaine of No Reservations...) eat raw and questionable "street foods" in foreign countries, I guess I started to realize that the worst I was likely to experience form the occasional culinary adventure wasn't anything worse than IBS had already dealt me. When diarrhea is more normal than not, a little e.coli or salmonella isn't very intimidating (I'm not saying I'm going out of my way to eat intentionally contaminated food, but eating carefully prepared raw beef, fish, and egg it isn't exactly russian roulette either).

I used to have a much more sensitive stomache, now I've virtually got a cast-iron stomache (I wish I could say the same about my intestines, but even those issues are better).

I never thought I'd enjoy raw meat and fish so much. I've loved sushi for several years now, but I only tried sushimi this past spring. I also tried raw beef laab this year (sort of a thai steak tartar, though it can be cooked too).

When I was on prednisone, or when I was having a lot of respiratory infections, I was more careful, but the stronger my immune system gets the more adventurous I become. And the more adventurous I become, it seems, the stronger my immune system becomes.

PhotoChick
11-27-2008, 09:14 PM
Oh yeah. I ranted in another thread about the whole food expiration / antibiotic thing.

Don't get me started.

Growing up overseas, I can see the difference in how paranoid and germ-phobic Americans are.

.

kaplods
11-27-2008, 09:25 PM
My sister (a registered dietitian) was a health inspector (now she's a WIC nutritionist), and she knows that most of the rules are overly strict, but had to enforce them. It was really hard with foreign-born restaurant owners who would say "I've owned a restaurant in (country of origin) and have done this for 30 years and no one ever got sick."

She said that while the foreign-owned restaurants sometimes had more violations, especially minor ones, than restaurants owned by native born americans, whenever there was a case of people actually getting ill it was rarely the foreign-owned restaurants.

PhotoChick
11-27-2008, 09:33 PM
Yeah. The thing is, I do believe that a lot of the regulations that have to be enforced are more about avoiding lawsuits than about actual safety and health. (And don't get me started on frivolous lawsuits ... that's another good hot button for me! :) ).

.

LandonsBaby
11-28-2008, 01:39 PM
I've never heard anyone say you could give your poultry salmonella. That is just silly. Now, I'm very paranoid about meats. I am super careful, I don't touch anything, I never taste anything with raw egg, I wash the area immediately, etc. But the idea you give it the bacteria, where would anyone even come up with that? Goofy.

ANOther
11-28-2008, 05:27 PM
Growing up overseas, I can see the difference in how paranoid and germ-phobic Americans are.

.

I remember seeing a notice in a Swiss hotel room once, saying something to the effect that "this room is cleaned so painstakingly and is so germ-free you can sleep on the floor!"

And what do I wanna bet that in Switzerland people take their dogs into restaurants practically at will and nobody objects?

nelie
11-29-2008, 08:35 AM
I never heard anyone say you could give poultry salmonella either, thats just strange. Same with beef, you can't give it e. coli, it either has it or it doesn't.

I used to be pretty careful in regards to meat prep when I used to eat meat. It took me a few weeks to realize that yes I could taste my soup as soon as I put all the ingredients in and yes I could use my cutting board for chopping everything without having to clean in between items. I didn't realize how paranoid I was about meat and meat borne bacteria until I gave up meat and was pretty happy not to think about it anymore.

zeffryn
11-29-2008, 06:29 PM
Holy cow....I really should just print this out and mail it to my mother in law...she's an effin' pain in the arse when it comes to things like this.

Some examples:
If the food is left out just while we are eating, she'll throw it away "because it has gone bad".

She dates everything...and I mean everything in the fridge and cupboards and will only keep those things for two weeks past the opening date - including condiments like ketchup and mustard. Apparently the lady *LOVES* to waste food. Tabasco sauce does not "go bad" in two weeks....

She double bags everything in the freezer - even if it is already in a bag.

She refuses to eat any meat that is not well-done because of salmonella and "coli-e (seriously, people)"

She threw an absolute hissy fit this Thanksgiving when I wouldn't let her throw out about 8 lbs. of turkey meat that had been out on the counter for an hour. The woman still won't talk to me and told me not to be surprised when my son got salmonella and had to go to the hospital.

Oy. Would hiring a hit be out of the question here? I think it is totally justified. ;)

PhotoChick
11-29-2008, 07:43 PM
She dates everything...and I mean everything in the fridge and cupboards and will only keep those things for two weeks past the opening date - including condiments like ketchup and mustard. Apparently the lady *LOVES* to waste food. Tabasco sauce does not "go bad" in two weeks....Oh my god. My head would explode. Seriously. I cannot stand to see food wasted for no valid reason like that.

I lived with my BIL and his wife for a while and she had this routine of cleaning out the fridge every Saturday morning. One Friday night I made a huge pot of sausage and shrimp gumbo (and spend quite a bit of $$ on it, too) thinking I'd have it for lunch for the rest of the next week. I came home from shooting a wedding that Saturday - dreaming of a big bowl of gumbo before I went to bed - and she'd THROWN IT OUT. Because anything "left" in the fridge on Saturday was obviously "bad".

It was one of the large string of things that meant DH and I moved out ASAP and didn't talk to them for several months afterwards.

Oh, and your MIL would die in our house: Friday afternoon, we set out plates of sliced turkey, cheese, bread, dressing, etc., AND LEFT THEM OUT ALL AFTERNOON to snack on. The only thing that got put back in the fridge was the mayo. :)

.

zeffryn
11-30-2008, 10:13 AM
Who the **** cleans their fridge once a week?

We also had turkey and other leftovers out all afternoon yesterday.


my son has yet to die.


Score one for me.

She's coming over for a "linner (lunch + dinner)" this afternoon - hopefully she doesn't ask where the turkey in the dish came from. She'll just die if she realizes it is the stuff that had been left out all day.

I'm all for food safety, but there are way too many neurotic people that take it to extremes.

jules1216
11-30-2008, 11:09 AM
Most "food safety" practices are common sense....

washing your hands & keeping the areas you are working in cleaned up as you go are two simple things...

In a place I worked several years ago they made wearing gloves mandatory--people did things that grossed me out while wearing the gloves that they would never do when they didn't. All I am going say is there's a lot more hand washing going on when gloves aren't used..

ANOther
11-30-2008, 03:14 PM
My sister (a registered dietitian) was a health inspector (now she's a WIC nutritionist), and she knows that most of the rules are overly strict, but had to enforce them. It was really hard with foreign-born restaurant owners who would say "I've owned a restaurant in (country of origin) and have done this for 30 years and no one ever got sick."

She said that while the foreign-owned restaurants sometimes had more violations, especially minor ones, than restaurants owned by native born americans, whenever there was a case of people actually getting ill it was rarely the foreign-owned restaurants.

One of the local news programs around here used to have a report every week on restaurant inspections: one week they'd have it on Minneapolis, next week on St. Paul, week after that in Bloomington, then back to Minneapolis, etc etc. There were always a lot of violations reported for Chinese mom-&-pop restaurants (including one just a block from my office) and I wondered why they eventually discontinued it: was it complaints of bias against Chinese restaurant owners, or was there just no interest in the report?

kaplods
11-30-2008, 03:47 PM
ANOther, it even could have been changes to the reporting laws, and the legal level of confidentiality of the reports. I know that my sister was not allowed to share details about the specific violations for specific restaurants.
Although restaurants scores were still reported on the health department website, they no longer listed the details as to which specific violations occurred, just the total score. I know the changes were in response to a new law, but I don't know if was a federal law or state law.

Obviously if the score is very high there are few violations of any kind, but for restaurants receiving passing, but lower scores, I think the specific violations are as important as the score itself.

ANOther
11-30-2008, 03:55 PM
ANOther, it even could have been changes to the reporting laws, and the legal level of confidentiality of the reports.

Yeah, I suppose that could be too. Thanks

Ufi
11-30-2008, 06:31 PM
I think health violations should be required to be available to the public by law. We're the ones eating there, and we have a right to an informed choice. I think certain "privacy" laws go too far. If you don't want people to know that you have a dirty kitchen, then clean your kitchen!

WebRover
11-30-2008, 08:01 PM
In a place I worked several years ago they made wearing gloves mandatory--people did things that grossed me out while wearing the gloves that they would never do when they didn't. All I am going say is there's a lot more hand washing going on when gloves aren't used..

I agree with this. I've watched people crack eggs with gloves on and then touch things that aren't going to be further cooked such as buttering toast. There's no way they can feel whether or not there are raw eggs on their hands.

I grew up with the saying "You eat a peck of dirt before you die." I have a healthy immune system and rarely get sick, even a cold. I follow basic food safety guidelines, but I don't believe in anti-bacterial soaps and wipes etc. Acquaintances at work who are nuts about cleanliness are frequently sick. I think they're so rarely exposed to germs, they have no immunities built up.

Ufi
11-30-2008, 08:53 PM
I do have to add that I use paper towels to touch things like door handles in public bathrooms when I'm on my way out. Some things are just too icky to risk.

PhotoChick
11-30-2008, 08:55 PM
I do have to add that I use paper towels to touch things like door handles in public bathrooms when I'm on my way out. Honestly I've never understood this. To each her own or whatever ... but it never made any sense to me. :)

.

EZMONEY
11-30-2008, 09:39 PM
I do have to add that I use paper towels to touch things like door handles in public bathrooms when I'm on my way out. Some things are just too icky to risk.


ME TOO! I have seen too many people do the #2 in a public restroom then walk right on out the door!

I always use my paper towel to open the door!

kaplods
11-30-2008, 09:45 PM
I love bathrooms that have no doors to open, after you wash your hands. Whether that's a maze like entrance or a swinging door you can push open with your butt or elbow. I mean there's no reason to go out of your way to expose yourself to germs, especially other people's secretions (which are a far greater disease risk than any raw meat).

I used to work in a detention center (juvenile jail) and we didn't cook for the kids, but we did serve them meals that the jail kitchen next door had cooked. People would BLOW into the plastic gloves to open them before putting them on their hands, and would wipe their noses with the glove, open the fridge door -- how often we had to remind people that the gloves were there to keep the food clean, not their hands. Coworkers would even ask me why I washed my gloved hands or went through several pairs of gloves during a meal service.

Ookpik
11-30-2008, 11:26 PM
I use paper towels to open the door with too! I work in an airport, and I like the modern airports where there are no door, and the sink turns on automatically. Unfortunately, our airport isn't like that. I've been in the washroom too many times and saw too many people who not only don't flush the toilet (reminds me of "Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" by Robert Fulghum -- forgive me if I didn't get the title exactly right, I wasn't too sure) but also do not wash their hands. Yuck. I had the flu a few weeks ago, and strep throat a couple of weeks later, which makes me a bit more cautious, since health providers always tell us that germs are often spread via the hands.

Ufi
12-01-2008, 12:03 PM
I do it because I have seen/heard people use the toilet and then walk out. I'm hardly a germophobe, but the idea of someone touching their butt and then touching something I touch is just gross. Also, while I sneeze in my elbow, I know a lot still sneeze in their hands. But to each her own.