December 14, 2017

How to Cook Thanksgiving Turkey the Safe Way

Foodsafety.gov is offering tips on how to cook Thanksgiving turkey. This bird is the centerpiece of most holiday dinners in America today. Cooking it thoroughly to a safe final internal temperature is crucial to keep you and your family safe. Turkeys, like chickens, can have Salmonella and Campylobacter bacteria on their skin. They must be carefully handled and completely cooked to prevent foodborne illness. First, never rinse the turkey. That step aerosolizes bacteria on the bird and spreads it around your kitchen. Just pat the turkey dry. The easiest way is to put a completely thawed unstuffed turkey into a roasting pan, set the oven to 325°F, and let it cook. Test it with a food thermometer after 3 hours, which is how long an 8 to 12 pound bird should cook. The larger the … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving Meal Food Safety Tips From the Experts

The Thanksgiving meal is the largest one most people prepare and serve every year. To make sure that your Thanksgiving dinner is wholesome and safe, Foodsafety.gov is offering tips. The turkey is the centerpiece of the meal, and it should be handled and cooked properly to make sure it is safe to eat. First, read labels carefully when you buy the bird. The label will tell you whether the bird is fresh or frozen. If you want to serve a fresh turkey at your Thanksgiving meal, buy it no more than two days before the meal. You should have two thermometers in your kitchen; one in the fridge to make sure that the turkey is stored at 40°F or below, and another to make sure the cooked turkey reaches 165°F, the safe final internal temperatures. Remember that the color of the meat is not a … [Read more...]

Researchers Discover How Ground Turkey is Contaminated with Salmonella

Researchers at the University of Georgia's Poultry Diagnostic and Research Center have discovered how ground turkey may become contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. They have found that Salmonella on the bird's skin may be a "significant contributor to ground turkey contamination." Turkey skin is often used as a source of fat when manufacturers make ground turkey since the muscles are so lean. The study was presented at the 2017 annual meeting of the American Association of Avian Pathologists. That meeting was held in the summer of 2017. Scientist have believed that cross-contamination with fecal material on the turkeys during processing was the main cause of Salmonella contamination in ground turkey. An earlier study published in the Journal of Food Protection in May 2016 found … [Read more...]

Safe Turkey Handling Tips for a Happy Thanksgiving

The folks at Holiday Food Safety are offering tips for handling your turkey safely for a happy Thanksgiving. The Partnership for Food Safety Education includes the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Institute of Food Technology, and other organizations. Before you buy the turkey, make sure you have room for it in your fridge. Always store the turkey in a large pan so raw juices don't drip and contaminate other foods. If you buy a frozen turkey, make sure you leave enough time for it to thaw. It takes about 24 hours for every four to five pounds to thaw in the fridge, so by now it's too late. But you can cook your turkey from the frozen state! Always wash your hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling the raw turkey. Never ever defrost the turkey on … [Read more...]

Turkey Federation: Consumer Reports Article “Misleading”

The National Turkey Federation (NTF)  is disputing claims in a study published in Consumer Reports this week that more than half of raw ground turkey and raw ground turkey patties sold at grocery stores  throughout the U.S. tested positive for fecal bacteria. The group, which advocates on behalf of the $29.5 billion turkey industry, posted a statement on its website taking issue with some of the claims. "The National Turkey Federation (NTF) strongly disputes the misleading findings of a Consumer Reports article about ground turkey, which makes a number of alarming claims based on an extremely small sampling of ground turkey products,"  the statement begins. It then lists four points, the first of which is that generic E. coli is not considered a source of foodborne illness. That … [Read more...]

Consumer Reports Finds Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria on Ground Turkey

An investigation by Consumer Reports has found that more than half of raw ground turkey meat and patties sold at retail stores in the U.S. tested positive for fecal bacteria. Ninety percent of all samples tested had one or more of the five bacteria the organization tested for, including Enterococcus, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella, and Campylobacter. In addition, almost all of the pathogens were resistant to one or more of the antibiotics used to fight them. This, once again, raises the alarm about giving factory farmed animals sub therapeutic doses of antibiotics to encourage growth and prevent illness. The study found that 69% of ground turkey had Enterococcus, and 60% had E. coli, the two bacteria associated with fecal contamination. More than half of the E. … [Read more...]

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