February 21, 2021

Campylobacter Are Exchanging Genetic Material to Become More Virulent

New research conducted at North Carolina State University reveals that two of the most common strains of Campylobacter are exchanging genetic material. That means they are producing more infectious and antibiotic-resistant strains. And that is bad news for consumers, since those strains are common in the poultry industry. In 2014, Consumer Reports conducted research on chicken breasts that they purchased in ordinary grocery stores. They found that potentially harmful bacteria, including Campylobacter and Salmonella, was present in almost all of the chicken, including organic brands.  In fact, Campylobacter was found on 43% of the samples. Lead author on the study, Maj. Dawn Hull, Army veterinarian and current Ph.D. student at NC State, said in a statement, "There are two strains … [Read more...]

Mary’s Fully Cooked Chicken Breast May Be Undercooked and Is Recalled

Tarantino Wholesale Foods Distributor of San Diego, California is recalling about 1,115 pounds of ready-to-eat Mary's Fully Cooked chicken breast products because they may be undercooked, which means that pathogenic bacteria may have survived. A customer complaint triggered the recall. That customer said that the chicken appeared to be undercooked. The ready-to-eat grilled chicken breast items were produced on October 23, 2020. The recalled item is 10 pound cases of Mary's Fully Cooked Chicken Breast. The lot code on the product is 20297 and the use by date is 10/23/21. The cases containing this chicken have the establishment number "P-8119" stamped inside the USDA mark of inspection. They were shipped to institutional locations in California and were also sold directly to retail … [Read more...]

What You Need to Know About Chicken and Food Safety

Most people know that raw poultry, as well as raw meat and eggs, are potentially hazardous foods. These foods are often contaminated with pathogens that can make you very sick. If not handled and cooked properly, the risk of foodborne illness with these foods is quite high. This is what you need to know about chicken and food safety. Americans eat more chicken than any other meat. Outbreaks linked to chicken are common every year. The bird is often contaminated with Campylobacter and Salmonella bacteria, which is why about 1,000,000 people in the U.S. get sick from contaminated poultry every year. First, when shopping, buy chicken last. Double bag it at the store, then go home right away and refrigerate or freeze any chicken product. Don't make other stops or delay going … [Read more...]

Backyard Poultry Salmonella Outbreak Sickens 938 in 48 States

The backyard poultry Salmonella outbreak has now sickened at least 938 people in 48 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). One hundred fifty-one people are hospitalized because they are so sick. One person who lived in Oklahoma has died. That is an increase of 473 more cases since the last update in late June 2020. The case count by state is: Alabama (16), Alaska (2), Arizona (23), Arkansas (20), California (35), Colorado (28), Connecticut (11), Delaware (1), Florida (24), Georgia (38), Idaho (6), Illinois (34), Indiana (22), Iowa (16), Kansas (17), Kentucky (57), Louisiana (1), Maine (9), Maryland (17), Massachusetts (21), Michigan (35), Minnesota (15), Mississippi (13), Missouri (28), Montana (16), Nebraska (19), Nevada (4), New Hampshire (10), … [Read more...]

Pandemic Food Safety: Most Googled Recipes and Safety

We all know that during the coronavirus pandemic, more people are cooking at home out of necessity. Many people are cooking for themselves for the first time. And some of those people haven't been taught about food safety. CNBC's Make It section found the top 10 most-googled recipes during quarantine. And we are listing the food safety issues with some of those recipes. The top 10 recipes are for: banana bread, pancakes, chicken, pizza dough, brownie, Recette crepe, meatloaf, French toast, lasagna, and cheesecake. All of these recipes can make you sick if not prepared correctly. Baking Recipes The potential food safety issues with the baking recipes are with eggs and flour. Don't make any recipe that calls for eggs and isn't cooked or baked before eating. Eggs can be … [Read more...]

Stop Foodborne Illness, CSPI Call For Poultry Safety Modernization

The food safety agencies Stop Foodborne Illness and the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) are calling for poultry safety modernization to reduce Salmonella and Campylobacter infections in poultry. Those agencies believe that the USDA's regulatory framework lags behind advances in science and technology and doesn't reflect the best. practices to prevent illness from poultry. Stop Foodborne Illness CEO Mitzi Baum said in a statement, "To their credit, FSIS, academic experts, and many poultry industry leaders recognize the poultry safety problem and are working on solutions. Consumers rightfully expect, however, that FSIS build today’s best practices into its regulatory system so they can become common practices. Outbreaks linked to poultry products have occurred … [Read more...]

Backyard Poultry Salmonella Outbreak Sickens 97 in 28 States

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a report about a backyard poultry Salmonella outbreak that has sickened at least 97 people in 28 states. This is not the first such outbreak; many of these outbreaks have been identified in the past few years. One of the issues is that Salmonella bacteria can be naturally present in chickens, even inside hen's ovaries, which then produce contaminated eggs. The pathogen is Salmonella Hadar. Seventeen people have been hospitalized because they are so sick. And 30% of ill persons are children younger than five. Epidemiologic evidence shows that contact with backyard poultry such as chicks and ducklings is the likely source of this outbreak. In interviews, 38, or 86% of 44 ill persons interviewed, said they had contact … [Read more...]

Study Finds Common Chicken Doneness Tests Not Effective

A study published in Plos One has found that common chicken doneness tests are not enough to ensure that pathogens in the bird have been destroyed before it is served. The study was conducted among 75 households in Europe from five countries. Researchers wanted to investigate whether actual and recommended practices for monitoring chicken doneness are safe. And a cross national web survey collected cooking practices for chicken from 3,969 households. Chicken is often contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. There have been many outbreaks linked to improperly cooked or undercooked chicken in the past few years. In a lab kitchen, chicken breast fillets were injected with cocktails of Salmonella and Campylobacter, then cooked to core temperatures between 55°C (131°F) dnd 70°C (158°F). … [Read more...]

Learn Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures For Different Foods

As part of our series on helping beginning cooks learn about food safety during the coronavirus pandemic, the safe minimum cooking temperatures for many foods is critical. These risky foods have to be handled carefully and cooked thoroughly to avoid the risk of a serious foodborne illness. These foods include beef, pork, seafood, chicken, turkey, shellfish, and foods made with eggs. All of these foods have been linked to multistate food poisoning outbreaks in the past. When you handle these foods, make sure to avoid cross-contamination between them and foods that are eaten uncooked. Meat juices dripping on other foods in the fridge is a main source of contamination. Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures First of all, the only way to tell if these foods are safe to eat is by using … [Read more...]

Study Highlights Risks of Food Poisoning With Online Food Ordering

With the coronavirus pandemic making consumers uneasy to step into a store, online food ordering has skyrocketed. Unfortunately, a new study using whole genome sequencing found that an outbreak of Salmonella in Shenzhen, China has been linked to online food orders. There are risks of food poisoning with online food ordering. Because most restaurants around the country are closed, reports of multistate food poisoning outbreaks have plummeted. But many of those facilities are delivering food to consumers. An outbreak may still occur, but it may not be caught by public health officials just because people are sheltering in place. And don't panic just yet; there are things you can do to protect yourself. And this outbreak occurred in July 2018. The Shenzhen Center for Disease … [Read more...]

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