January 22, 2017

Undercooked and Raw Eggs Can Make You Sick

Every year, about 79,000 Americans get sick from Salmonella in eggs. And about 30 people die, according to the FDA. While the government has regulations to hep prevent contamination of eggs on the farm and in transit, they have not been unable to eliminate this risk. The pathogenic bacteria can be on the inside of the egg, so eating raw or undercooked eggs puts you at risk of a serious foodborne illness. Here's what you need to know about eggs and food safety. Salmonella is a bacteria that is a common cause of food poisoning in this country and around the world. Symptoms of a Salmonella infection include diarrhea that may be bloody, fever, abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting. Most symptoms begin 12 to 72 hours after infection, and people are usually sick for about a week. But … [Read more...]

FDA Risk Assessment Explained

The FDA is one of the government agencies charged with keeping our food supply safe. One of the ways they do this is something called "risk assessment." Food facilities are inspected and government officials figure out where the risks of contamination are. There are many steps between the farm and your table. And each can pose a risk of contamination by pathogenic bacteria. Scientific evidence and calculations used by the FDA predict the best ways to preventing contamination by specific substances in specific foods. First, scientists learn about the conditions under which a bacteria or virus can grow and thrive. A food likely to contain the pathogen is then studied, and information about how the food is grown, transported, received, processed, stored, shipped, and sold is … [Read more...]

Prevent Clostridium Perfringens Illnesses This Holiday Season

Clostridium perfringens food poisoning cases tend to spike around the holiday season. This bacteria causes almost 1,000,000 cases of food poisoning every year. The bacteria grows when large pots and containers of food are not kept from the danger zone of 40°F to 140°F. Restaurants, nursing homes, potlucks, and large parties are usually the sources of this type of outbreak. So FoodSafety.gov is offering tips to help stop this type of food poisoning. The bacteria is found on raw meat and poultry, in the environment, and in the intestines of people and animals. Some strains produce a toxin as the bacteria grows. This type of food poisoning has a sudden and fast onset, usually within a few hours of exposure to the pathogenic bacteria. Diarrhea is the main symptoms. This type of … [Read more...]

Pig Roasting and Food Safety

If you want to roast a whole pig this holiday season, FoodSafety.gov has tips to make sure that the pork is cooked properly and is safe to eat. There was one large food poisoning outbreak this year linked to whole roasted pork that was produced by Kapowsin Foods. Those pigs were linked to a Salmonella outbreak last year and this year. In 20156, 192 people in five states were sickened with an antibiotic resistance strain of Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:-. Thirty of those patients were hospitalized. This year, three people were sickened with Salmonella infections after eating whole roast pig at the Good Vibe Tribe Luau in Seattle. The pigs were produced by Kapowsin Meats of Graham, Washington. Whole pigs can be difficult to roast correctly, whether they are grilled, cooked in a … [Read more...]

Holiday Food Safety for Pregnant Women

FoodSafety.gov is offering food safety tips for pregnant women this holiday season. Pregnant women must always be diligent about food safety, and especially so when attending parties and family gatherings. A woman's immune system is weaker when she is pregnant, which makes her at greater risk of contracting a foodborne illness. Toxoplasma gondii and Listeria monocytogenes. Listeria bacteria can cause miscarriage, premature delivery, or the death of a newborn. And toxoplasma gondii can cause hearing loss, blindness, and intellectual disabilities in children. Skip raw eggnog and unpasteurized apple cider at holiday parties. Many eggnog recipes contain raw eggs and unpasteurized milk, which could cause Salmonella food poisoning. Raw cider can be contaminated with E. coli bacteria, … [Read more...]

Do Not Eat “Tiger Meat” This Holiday Season

The USDA is asking consumers to not eat so called "tiger meat" this holiday season. This unusual dish, which is served in the Midwestern states with German heritage, is made of raw ground beef mixed with raw eggs and seasonings. It is also called "cannibal sandwich" or "steak tartare." In 2013, an E. coli outbreak linked to tiger meat was reported in Wisconsin. Three people were sickened in that outbreak. A recall of ground beef from Glenn’s Market and Catering in Watertown, Wisconsin was tied to that outbreak. All ground meats should be cooked to at least 160°F as tested with a food thermometer. Eating raw ground beef, pork, seafood, or poultry is never safe. Bacteria is often present on the cuts of meat used to make these products. When the meat is ground, the bacteria are … [Read more...]

Antibiotic Resistant Salmonella Causes 6,200 Illnesses Every Year

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a new report on the incidence of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella infections in the United States. Every year, about 6,200 people are sickened with these strains of antibiotic bacteria, but non-resistant Salmonella bacteria cause about 1.2 million illnesses every year in this country. Salmonella infections are one of the most common types of foodborne illness in this country and around the world. The antibiotics usually used to treat these infections include ceftriaxone, ciprofloxacin, and ampicillin. Unfortunately, antibiotic resistance has been associated with these drugs. Scientists at the CDC used Bayesian hierarchical models of 2004 - 2012 date from the CDC National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System … [Read more...]

Answers to Three Most Common Food Safety Questions

During the holidays, hotlines for consumer cooking and baking questions light up. Many people cook traditional foods this time of the year, and have questions about food safety or because the recipes are vague. FoodSafety.gov is answering three of the most common questions they get this time of year about preparing and storing holiday foods. Question one is: I bought a fresh turkey last week. Is it still safe to eat? How long can I keep a fresh turkey in the fridge? Fresh turkey should only be purchased one or two days before you cook it. If you do not cook the bird within two days, freeze it. It can be frozen indefinitely, but should be cooked within 1 year for best quality. Question two is: Can holiday meats be cooked at temperatures below 250°F? And can I use an oven bag … [Read more...]

Food Safety Tips for the Holidays

FoodSafety.gov is offering food safety tips for the holidays. Keep everyone safe from foodborne illness during these special times by following these practices. Always wash your hands with soap and water before and after preparing food. And wash them thoroughly after you touch raw meat, raw eggs, or unwashed vegetables, and before eating or drinking. Always cook food thoroughly to a safe internal temperature and test that temperature with a reliable food thermometer. Meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs can carry pathogenic bacteria that can make someone very sick. You can see the minimum safe internal temperatures for these foods at the Foodsafety.gov web site. And remember that meats should rest for three minutes after you remove them from the oven or grill. The temperature … [Read more...]

USDA Issues Revised Guidance on Food Date Labeling

Most consumers are pretty confused when it comes to the meaning of date labels on foods. So the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued updated information on food product labeling. They are encouraging food manufacturers and retailers to use a "Best If Used By" date to help reduce food waste. Al Almanza, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety said, "In an effort to reduce food loss and waste, these changes will give consumers clear and consistent information when it comes to date labeling on the food they buy. This new guidance can help consumers save money and curb the amount of wholesome food going in the trash." Product dating is not required by the federal government, except for infant formula. And since manufacturers use many phrases, such as "sell … [Read more...]

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