Holiday meal food safety

Food Safety Infosheet Highlights: Holiday meals have been linked to outbreaks of many pathogens including Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridium perfringens and Staphylococcus aureus. Cooking for a crowd larger than normal, whether in the home or in a community kitchen, can lead to mistakes at the expense of food safety.

– Clean and sanitize utensils and work surfaces after preparing raw turkey for roasting.

– Color is not an indicator of safety or doneness.

– Turkey should be cooled to 41°F quickly.

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Bathing birds is a food safety mess

Food Safety Infosheet Highlights:
– UK Food Standard Agency has recently reported the results of a study demonstrating spray of bacteria up to 3 feet from the kitchen sink after poultry was washed.
– Clean and sanitize utensils and work surfaces after preparing raw poultry.
– Wash and dry hands after handling and preparing poultry as well as following dishwashing.

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Cantaloupes linked to Salmonella outbreak

– Outbreak has led to 2 deaths and 178 illnesses and is associated with cantaloupes sold by Chamberlin Farms, located in Owensville IN.

– Chamberlin Farms has announced a recall; the investigation is continuing as it is possible that there are other sources of illnesses.

– Refrigerate cantaloupes quickly after slicing. Bacteria such as Salmonella and Listeria can grow quickly on the orange flesh of the fruit when held above 41°F.

– Due to the roughness of the rind, it is difficult to wash away much of the bacteria.

– Using a scrub brush under running water (especially at the cut point) can reduce the risk of pathogen introduction.
 

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Cantaloupes linked to Salmonella outbreak

– 2 deaths and 141 illnesses are associated with cantaloupes grown in Indiana.
– Refrigerate cantaloupes quickly after slicing. Bacteria such as Salmonella and Listeria can grow quickly on the orange flesh of the fruit when held above 41°F.
– Due to the roughness of the rind, it is difficult to wash away much of the bacteria.
– Using a scrub brush under running water (especially at the cut point) can reduce the risk of pathogen introduction.

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Home-canned beets in Oregon linked to three botulism hospitalizations

Food Safety Infosheet Highlights:
– Storing low-acid foods in a jar and sealing them without either acidifying or processing using pressure creates the ideal conditions for toxin formation.
– Tested recipes and directions for safe canning can be found at the National Center for Home Food Preservation:
nchfp.uga.edu.
– In 1977, 59 patrons of a Detroit Mexican restaurant became ill with botulism after consuming improperly canned peppers after restaurant staff put lightly-cooked peppers and water in jars and sealed them.
– Low acid foods (pH greater than 4.6) like beets cannot be safely canned using a boiling water bath unless acidified according to a tested recipe.

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Norovirus outbreak at California Pizza Kitchen linked to ill food handlers

Food Safety Infosheet Highlights:

– Over 20 customers of a California pizza kitchen restaurant were ill with vomitting, diarrhea, cramps and nausea.
– Three food handlers were also part of the outbreak.
– Don’t handle food while ill; especially if you have symptoms like diarrhea (when tranmission is likely) or vomiting (as virus particles may be spread to hands, clothes and other surfaces).

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Cross-contamination factor in outbreak; 88 Salmonella Paratyphi B illnesses linked to unpasteurized tempeh

– Unless noted on packaging, treat tempeh as a raw food.
– Knives, cutting boards and other food contact surfaces must be cleaned and sanitized between preparation and use with ready-to-eat foods.
– Salmonella and other pathogens can grow during the tempeh production process.
– Wash hands after handling any potentially contaminated food or packaging (especially those that are leaking).
 

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116 illnesses linked to frozen raw yellowfin tuna product; Salmonella in sushi source of illnesses

Food Safety Infosheet Highlights:

– Among the 116 illnesses are 12 hospitalizations.
– The implicated product, processed and distributed by Moon Marine USA Corporation (also known as MMI) of Cupertino, Calif. is made of tuna back meat, which is  scraped off the bones and looks like ground product.
– The product is not available for sale to individual consumers, but may have been used in food service and retail to make sushi, sashimi, ceviche and similar dishes.
– Moon Marine USA Corporation or MMI and Nakaochi Scrape AA or AAA were printed on boxes of the product when it was initially sold to distributors. Boxes may have been broken into smaller lots for further sale.

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Easter food safety risks

Food Safety Infosheet Highlights:
– Handwashing after handling animals, even cute ones, reduces risk of illness.  Children can get sick by touching birds and then putting their hands directly in their mouths or touching food.
– Eggs can carry Salmonella and need to be cooked to 145°F for 15 seconds to reduce risk, or until the yolk sets.
– Raw shell eggs should be stored in the refrigerator held at  or below 45°F.
– Use pasteurized eggs as a replacement in raw egg dishes to reduce risks.

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