Shame on the Brits: Why bad food safety advice for safe chicken?

Maybe there’s no tip-sensitive digital thermometers in the UK, maybe they’re not trying, maybe they just think they’re colonially better.

barfblog.Stick It InThe taxpayer-funded UK Food Standards Agency is going to have another go at Food Safety Week, focusing on Campylobacter in chicken.

Up to a third of the UK population could contract food poisoning from campylobacter during their lifetime, according to new figures released by FSA.

The figures are based on the current infection rates of more than a quarter of a million people per year. Campylobacter is most frequently found on raw poultry and is the biggest cause of food poisoning in the UK.  The FSA has released the figures to mark the start of 2015’s Food Safety Week and the launch of the ‘Chicken Challenge’ – its call to the whole food chain, from industry to consumers, to do their bit to halve the number of campylobacter food poisoning cases by the end of 2015.

Nina Purcell, director at the FSA, said in order to reduce Campylobacter illnesses, “check chicken is cooked properly until it’s steaming hot throughout with no pink meat and the juices run clear.”

Worse, the UK Institute of Food Research swallowed this line whole, and said, “check chicken is cooked properly until it’s steaming hot throughout with no pink meat and the juices run clear.”

This is chickenshit, and scientifically invalid.

The U.S., Canada, and now Australia, recommend the only way to ensure poultry and other foods are safely cooked, is to use a tip-sensitive digital thermometer. Color is a lousy indicator.

The Brit bureaurtards, and especially the supposedly science-based Institute of Food Research, should be ashamed.

Use a thermometer? NYC chef teaches students to make solar-powered meals

Kale nachos sound gross; wellness sounds like quackery; using kids without a safety is dangerous.

barfblog.Stick It InA city chef is challenging the idea that New Yorkers don’t have the space to employ solar power by using the sun’s rays to quickly whip up meals for local kids.

Anyone planning a day in Central Park, a trip to the beach or with a rooftop or outdoor space can use a solar cooker — which involves a set of mirrored panels that direct the sun’s heat onto a ceramic dish — to make snacks or full meals, said chef Cynthia Tomasini.

On Thursday, Tomasini used that technique to teach students at P.S. 87 about the eco-friendly method, using a solar cooker to whip up a bunch of kale nachos.

Her work at the elementary school comes through the nonprofit Wellness in Schools (WITS), which is focused on improving healthy eating and increasing student movement and exercise.

Tomasini, 43, who is also a personal chef for local families, spends about a third of her time going to elementary schools in Manhattan as a WITS liaison.

You want to tell people what roast chicken looks like? Epicurious’ new Apple Watch app sucks at science

Color is a lousy indicator of food being cooked to a microbiologically safe temperature.

But Epicurious goes all food porn with an Apple Watch app that, sucks.

Use a tip sensitive digital thermometer and stick it in.

Below? Fail.


What’s worrying is no one said thermometer: cooking all the way through doesn’t cut it

Australians under 34 don’t know enough about how to safely handle food to avoid food poisoning, according to a report card by the Food Safety Information Council.

barfblog.Stick It InThe 18 to 34 year olds didn’t do as well compared to over 50s on knowledge of food safety, a survey found.

Only 73% of the younger group know to cook hamburgers all the way through compared with 84% for over 50s.

The younger crowd know (87%) to cook sausages all the way, although 93% of the over 50s are masters at the BBQ.

Only half (59%) of the younger group know to refrigerate chicken dishes straight away compared with 72% of over 50s.

Oh dear: USDA is now using steaming hot as a scientific standard

Robber’s Roost Jerky, an Ellensburg, Wash., establishment, is recalling approximately 4 pounds of ready-to-eat smoked beef and pork pepper stick jerky product that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

beefjerky406The problem was discovered by the company after a sample from the cutting board used in preparation of the product returned a positive test result for Listeria monocytogenes. FSIS and the company have received no reports of illness due to consumption of this product.

 FSIS advises all consumers to reheat ready-to-eat product until steaming hot.

I use a tip-sensitive digital thermometer on shrimp; the variation is fascinating.

Fish edition: Gratuitous food porn shot of the day

Our friend is spending her weekends doing a business degree, and her hubby took the girls after hockey, so Amy and I got to relive the many reasons we initially got together 10 years ago and cooked dinner for our friends.

Sorenne ate the trout (she thought it was salmon because of the color, I didn’t argue) and her friend devoured the barramundi. Temperature-verified 145F.


Boy Scouts avoid liability in E. coli lawsuit

I was shocked and shamed about a month ago when we were invited to dinner at the home of other hockey parents.

thermometers.feb.15I normally carry a spare Cormark PTD 300 tip-sensitive digital thermometer in my knapsack, but had donated the spare to Sorenne’s school the day before and forgot to replenish the stash (thanks, Chapman, for providing more).

I felt naked not being able to probe the pork roast, especially when our hosts asked for a demonstration.

Dr. food safety was Dr. fail.

Apparently the Boy Scouts of America don’t care about such things either.

Harrison King, then 14, was among more than 80 campers who became ill after a 2008 gathering at a sprawling Boy Scout camp in Rockbridge County. King suffered brain damage as a result of his illness, according to his lawsuit.

A Virginia Department of Health report concluded the outbreak was caused in part by undercooked ground beef.

amy.thermometer.05King sued both the Boy Scouts and the company that sold ground beef used at Camp Goshen. He claimed the meat supply was tainted and the Boy Scouts failed to ensure the meat was properly cooked.

U.S. District Judge Norman K. Moon first ruled in November that the Boy Scouts were entitled to charitable immunity in King v. S&S Foods LLC, Boy Scouts of America (VLW 014-3-618).

At the time, Moon left the case open for the parties to explore whether there was evidence of gross negligence that would allow King’s claim to proceed against the Boy Scouts.

Based on evidence that the Boy Scout regional unit had provided guidance on the proper cooking of so-called “foil dinners” and on safe food handling generally, Moon rejected the allegations of gross negligence. He dismissed the Boy Scouts and the BSA regional unit on March 20 in King v. S&S Foods LLC (VLW 015-3-142).

Take a thermometer.


Use a thermometer, not steaming hot: Bad government advice paid by taxpayers in UK and Aus

The taxpayer funded bullshit is below, even though the US and Canada say, use a damn thermometer, because color is a lousy indicator. The science is clear on this issue. UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) is reminding people to take care when preparing and cooking burgers at home.

Steve Wearne, Director of Food Policy, at the FSA, said: ‘The most important thing to remember is to cook your burgers so they are steaming hot all the way through, that none of it is pink and that any juices run clear.”

And in Australia, Safe Food Queensland endorsed a fact sheet from Queensland Health that stated, “Make sure to cook chicken thoroughly so that there is no pink meat and the juices run clear.”


Stick it in and use a tip sensitive digital thermometer.

Cyclones, rain, and temperature-verified steak

During a morning of unrelenting and ongoing cyclone-related rain (yes, Brisbane gets weather too, not just Mass.) hockey skating and Chapman embarrassingly wearing a Leafs jersey (although my kid had one on this a.m., but Chapman should know better), I decided, why not barbeque for lunch.

145 F, rested for 10 minutes.