UK national burger day: Idiocy on how to prepare and serve burgers safely

The Brits are forever complicating things.

barfblog.Stick It InAnd they’re supposed to be science-based, when they’re just rhetoric-based (with that charming but difficult to understand British accent; don’t get me started on Wales).

For National Burger Day, Big Hospitality provides 750 words of advice on what controls can be put in place to ensure that diners are not put at risk from the serving of pink or rare burgers.

It’s hard to blame this restaurant rag when the science-based UK government authority barfs out the same advice.

Color is a lousy indicator.

Stick it in: use a thermometer.

hamburger-safe and unsafe-thumb-450x138-175

67 sick: Raw oysters can suck and yes, I’ve temped oysters on the grill

Canadian health types are now investigating 67 Canadian cases of Vibrio parahaemolyticus infections in British Columbia and Alberta linked to raw shellfish. The majority of the illnesses have been linked to the eating of raw oysters.

oysters.grillThe risk to Canadians is low, and illnesses can be avoided if shellfish are cooked before being eaten.

In Canada, a total of 67 cases have been reported in British Columbia (48) and Alberta (19). One case has been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. Individuals became sick between June 1 and August 7, 2015 and all reported consumption of raw shellfish, primarily oysters. The investigation is ongoing to determine the source and distribution of these products.

The following safe food practices will reduce your risk of getting sick from Vibrio and other foodborne illnesses.

-Do not eat raw shellfish.

-Cook shellfish thoroughly before eating, especially oysters. Shellfish should be cooked to a safe internal temperature of 74°C (165°F).

-Discard any shellfish that do not open when cooked.

-Eat shellfish right away after cooking and refrigerate leftovers.

-Always keep raw and cooked shellfish separate.

-Avoid eating oysters, or other seafood, when taking antacids as reduced stomach acid may favour the survival and growth of Vibrio species.

-Always wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap after using the bathroom.

-Avoid exposing open wounds or broken skin to warm salt or brackish water, or to raw shellfish. Wear protective clothing (like gloves) when handling raw shellfish.

-Wash your hands well with soap before handling any food. Be sure to wash your hands, cutting boards, counters, knives and other utensils after preparing raw foods.

 

Recommend a thermometer? Australia says 6-2-2 a sizzling success in pork project

How hard is it to recommend a thermometer?

The study does not account for temperature variations of the grill or stove, so seemingly impossible to assess.

curtis.thermomet.pork.oct.24.14But, marketers be marketing.

Pork CRC and APL conducted a study (Pork CRC Project 3C-106) across three retail partners in metropolitan Adelaide to ‘test’ the 6-2-2 (i.e. 6 mins one side, 2 mins the other & 2 mins to rest) messaging for cooking pork steaks.

Pork CRC research has demonstrated experimentally in large studies that cooking temperature influences consumer perception of the eating quality of pork steaks, with over cooking markedly reducing eating quality. APL research in homes showed that 78% of bad eating experiences with pork were due to cooking failure and 53% of these were associated with the loin, which is the fresh pork cut most consumed by Australians.

The objective of the Pork CRC and APL study was to create awareness of the 6-2-2 cooking message to prevent cooking failure  It used different promotional activities, ranging from TV advertising through to retail labelling and the use of 6-2-2 stickers on retail packs.

barfblog.Stick It InThe bottom line was that the sale of pork steaks increased in all retail outlets. The increase in sales above what was expected (based on sales determined before the promotion and store history) ranged from 16% to 56%, depending on the promotional strategy used. Even better news was that the increase in sales of pork steaks was not at the expense of other pork cuts/products.

A major learning outcome from the project was that communicating the rewards associated with 6-2-2 is the best way to entrench the purchase of pork steak and avoid relying on a continuous advertising push.

The findings will form the basis of future advertising and promotional campaigns by APL, which will, hopefully, lead to further increases in demand for Australian pork.

Use a thermometer, color sucks: UK FSA says don’t serve your duck pink

Color is a lousy indicator.

But that doesn’t stop the taxpayer-funded UK Food Standards Agency from issuing nonsensical advice.

smoked-duck-breast1I’ve asked the UK food safety types why they don’t recommend that people use thermometers – as is the advice in the U.S., Canada and Australia – and the response is usually along the lines of, people can’t handle such complicated information.

A colleague received similar advice yesterday from the UK FSA.

Arrogant bullshit.

And not science-based.

The Telegraph reported today that duck should never be served pink as diners could be poisoned by a potential deadly bug more commonly associated with chicken, food officials have said.

While many upmarket restaurants recommend their duck dishes medium-rare, the Food Standards Agency said the poultry should always be cooked “thoroughly” at home.

It warned that the prevalence of the campylobacter bug among ducks was “not dissimilar” to the levels among chickens, where seven in 10 birds are infected.

The bacterium, which makes 280,000 ill every year, is only killed when meat is fully cooked.

On Wednesday the food watchdog said it was concerned that there was a public misconception that duck was different to chicken in that it could safely be served pink.

There’s a public misconception because the bureaucrats are not offering clear, evidence-based information.

Stick it in.

 

Use a thermometer: Two outbreaks of Salmonella Enteritidis infections linked to raw, frozen, stuffed chicken thingies

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, along with CDC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS), are investigating two outbreaks of Salmonella Enteritidis infections linked to raw, frozen, breaded and pre-browned stuffed chicken entrees.

barfblog.Stick It InIn one outbreak, four people infected with a strain of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from Minnesota. Two of these ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

In the second outbreak, three people infected with a different strain of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from Minnesota. Two of these ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

On July 1, 2015, USDA-FSIS issued a public health alert due to concerns about illnesses caused by Salmonella that may be associated with raw, frozen, breaded and pre-browned, stuffed chicken products.

USDA-FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare and cook these products. Read more on the Advice to Consumers page.

As a result of the first investigation, on July 2, 2015, Barber Foods recalled approximately 58,320 pounds of Chicken Kiev because it may be contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis.

The product subject to recall includes a 2 lb.-4 oz. box containing six individually pouched pieces of “Barber Foods Premium Entrees Breaded-Boneless Raw Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Rib Meat Kiev” with use by/sell by dates of April 28, 2016, May 20, 2016, and July 21, 2016.

This is a frozen, raw, stuffed chicken product.

Consumers should check their freezers for the recalled Chicken Kiev product and should not eat it.

Consumers with the product should return it to the place of purchase or contact the company directly at (844) 564-5555.

Illnesses in other states linked to either outbreak have not been identified but the investigation is ongoing. Updates will be provided when more information is available.

raw.chicken.thingies.outbreakThe Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), along with CDC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS), are investigating two outbreaks of Salmonella Enteritidis infections linked to raw, frozen, breaded and pre-browned stuffed chicken entrees.

Public health investigators are using the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that may be part of these outbreaks. PulseNet is the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by CDC. DNA “fingerprinting” is performed on Salmonella bacteria isolated from ill people by using a technique called pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, or PFGE. PulseNet manages a national database of these DNA “fingerprints” to identify possible outbreaks. Two DNA “fingerprints” (outbreak strains) are included in these outbreak investigations. The two strains represent the most common Salmonella Enteritidis strains in the PulseNet database. Because the two strains are so common, most of the illnesses identified as having matching PFGE patterns may not be related to this outbreak. Investigators are using additional laboratory methods, including whole genome sequencing, to help clarify which illnesses may be related to these outbreaks.

Investigation of the Outbreaks

In the first outbreak, MDH identified four people infected with a strain of Salmonella Enteritidis with illness onset dates ranging from April 5, 2015 to June 8, 2015. Two people were hospitalized. Epidemiologic and traceback evidence linked these illnesses to eating Barber Foods brand Chicken Kiev raw stuffed chicken breast. This investigation is ongoing.

In the second outbreak, MDH identified three people infected with a different strain of Salmonella Enteritidis with illness onset dates ranging from May 9, 2015 to June 8, 2015. Two people were hospitalized. The MDH and MDA investigation found that illnesses occurred after the people had eaten Antioch Farms brand Cordon Bleu raw stuffed chicken breast. This investigation is also ongoing.

On July 1, 2015, USDA-FSIS issued a public health alert due to concerns about illnesses caused by Salmonella that may be associated with raw, frozen, breaded and pre-browned, stuffed chicken products. In the alert, USDA-FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare and cook these products to a temperature of 165°F.

As a result of the first outbreak investigation, on July 2, 2015, Barber Foods recalled approximately 58,320 pounds of Chicken Kiev because it may be contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis. The product subject to recall includes a 2 lb.-4 oz. box containing six individually pouched pieces of “Barber Foods Premium Entrees Breaded-Boneless Raw Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Rib Meat Kiev” with use by/sell by dates of April 28, 2016, May 20, 2016, and July 21, 2016. The product was available for purchase at Sam’s Club retail stores in Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Illnesses in other states linked to either outbreak have not been identified but the investigation is ongoing. CDC and state and local public health partners are continuing laboratory surveillance through PulseNet to identify additional ill people and to interview them. Updates will be provided when more information is available.

Food taster, Dalai Lama style (it’s all fairytales)

Amy had a student who used to call me Dr. Richard Gere, because at one point I used to look like him: not so much now.

dalai.lama.richard.gereMaybe if I were a practicing Buddhist I wouldn’t age so much.

I agree with many of the Buddhist philosophies, but the idea that the divine leader is born, not chosen, seems ridiculous.

And their take on microbial food safety really sucks.

The Dalai Lama reportedly used a food taster when he visited Brisbane last month.

In Medieval times, men of power had tasters who valiantly sampled their food in case an enemy tried to poison them.  This practice was built on a myth that survives today – if you get food poisoning, it’s from the last thing you ate, and the symptoms will commence rather immediately.

Several  years ago, Amy and I had the privilege of an after-hours chat with some FDA-types who spoke of the precautions they would take when preparing safe salmon for Laura Bush and any other meal fit for a President. They had thermometers. And knew how to use them.

We had salmon for dinner tonight. It was temped and safe.

Use a thermometer: Coles BS guide to how to know if steak is done

Coles is one of the two major supermarkets in Australia.

coles.thermometerThey recruit celebrity chefs like Heston-norovirus Blumenthal and Curtis-aren’t-I-handsome Stone, while Woolworth’s goes for Jamie-watch-all-the-food-safety-mistakes-I-make Oliver.

The new sales go on sale on Wednesday, just like it was 1978.

The Coles electronic flyer has this: No hormones, no thermometers, total BS.

Although Amy did find this at a local Coles, MasterChef branded food-porn crap thermometers reduced to clear.

coles.steak

Is Juicy Lucy a safe burger? Use a thermometer

The Food Network with their BS recipes is another gift that keeps on giving.

juicy.lucyUse a tip-sensitive digital meat thermometer  and make sure it gets to 165F.

Forget the fluff below.

Lightly mix 6 ounces ground beef chuck with a big pinch of kosher salt. Form into two equal balls, and then shape into two flat patties. Lay two slices American cheese between them and form the meat around the cheese; make an indentation in the center of the patty. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat; sprinkle the skillet with salt. Cook the burger 4 to 5 minutes per side. Serve on a soft bun.

Happy food safe BD, BFF

I was going to put a candle in the sesame-seared tuna, but failed.

scallops.amy.bd.jun.15Six-year-olds have a way of distracting things.

For birthday lunch we went to our favourite fish monger, and then I went back to collect some scallops and tuna for Amy’s birthday dinner.

I overcooked some of the scallops (145F is sufficient) but they were still delicious.

The tuna was great.

Even the frozen green beans (I’m a big fan of the frozen food, growing up in Canada where fresh is available about six weeks) turned out well.

Seafood, champagne, computer, thermometer: it’s how we live.

amy.scallops.tuna.jun.15

Use a thermometer: Top food safety tips for BBQs

How hard can this be: use a thermometer.

barfblog.Stick It InSafefood Ireland, I don’t know when you published this BS, because there’s no date, but it showed up in in my feedly, uh, feed today.

The big issue when barbequing is making sure your food has been cooked thoroughly, all the way through. This is particularly important when cooking poultry, pork, minced and skewered meats, such as burgers, sausages and kebabs on the barbecue – while the outside may look cooked (and in some cases burnt), the inside can still be raw.

We recommend these meats should always be cooked until they are piping hot all the way through, with no pink meat remaining and the juices run clear. If you’ve got lots of people visiting your barbecue and want to ensure that meat is thoroughly cooked, you can pre-cook meat in your kitchen oven just before you put it on the barbeque for flavor.

How to know it’s cooked

When cooking foods on the barbeque, make sure to turn them regularly and move them around the grill to ensure they area cooked evenly on all sides – then remove them from the heat and place them on a clean plate. For meats that need to be cooked all the way through be sure to cut into the centre of them to check that:

They are piping hot all the way through

There is no pink meat left and

The juices run clear

Food safety BS (and taxpayer funded).

Use a tip-sensitive digital thermometer.

Stick it in.