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Old 02-03-2006, 01:24 PM   #1
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Cross Contamination?

The most common topic here is cross contamination with knives or cutting boards. I've been thinking about cross contamination with cooking utinsels though.

Suppose you use a spatula/tongs to put some raw chicken into your pan. Half way through you use the same tongs to turn the chicken. Lastly, you use the same tongs to remove the chicken from the pan.

Did you contaminate your chicken by using the same tongs at the beginning of the cooking and then again at the end?


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Old 02-03-2006, 01:44 PM   #2
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Yeah you basically do. What you should really do is wash the tongs between each touching, of course I don't know anyone who does that (myself included). What I try to do is somehow leave the tongs close to the heat source hoping that they get hot enough to kill any of the nasties.

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Old 02-03-2006, 02:37 PM   #3
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The basic rule and, if you really think about it, common sense is to never allow any dish, utensil or surface which has come into contact with raw meat to come into contact with the cooked product. Doing so will allow transfer of live bacteria or toxins which may be present on the raw item to the cooked item. The cooked item will then be eaten and transfer the agents for illness to the eater.

My position is when in doubt, don't take the chance. I personally use the original fork, spatula or tongs that I place the chicken or meat into the pan for the first flip and then change to a clean utensil for serving or removal from the pan.
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Old 02-03-2006, 03:08 PM   #4
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Living with a small kitchen, and hating a sink filled with dishes, utensils, cutting boards, at the end of a meal, or prep work, we recycle.

If we know we are going to need a knife, tongs, pot, etc., when we are finished with one use, will quickly wash it and put it aside ready to be used again.

Before cooking, we empty the dishwasher. When we finish with a cooking tool we maay not need, briefly wash it and toss it into the dishwasher. If it turns out we do need it again, rapidly wash it, and voila, it is ready for another go.

No cross contamination and no pile in the sink at the end of the meal.

But yeah, if we use a tongs, or fork, or whatever for the fresh meat will wash it, again quickly, for the next use.

At least the method works for us.
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Old 02-03-2006, 03:16 PM   #5
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I do what Aurora does, change utensils - better safe than sorry, no one likes to puke.
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Old 02-03-2006, 07:30 PM   #6
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When I'm cooking, I keep a bowl of hot soapy water in the sink, and keep things cleaned up as I go. I'm very careful. I also keep a small bottle of Clorox under my sink for sanitizing cutting boards, etc.
I do wonder how some of us didn't die a long time ago. My grandmother used to shake her chicken in a paper bag of flour before frying, then save the flour. But her chicken was delicious, and never made me sick.
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Old 02-03-2006, 10:15 PM   #7
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I do what Aurora does, too. Have seen too many Dateline-esque specials not to.
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Old 02-03-2006, 10:56 PM   #8
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while my stomach has it's own intelligence, nietzschean in it's lifestyle (what doesn't kill you...), i always wash plates, cutting boards, and tongs when cooking. this is most obvious when grilling. i prepare the food in the kitchen, often on skewers, and place each meat on a seperate plate from the others, and seperate from the evoo'd veggies on their own plate/platter. the cutting board and knives are rinsed and wiped quickly between each prep, and then everything is carried outside to the grill. as soon as a plate is emptied, it is brought in and washed, dried, and brought back out, readied to recieve the now cooked meats/veggies. each trip indoors also includes a quick rinse of utensils.
i normally believe that exposure to low levels of various bacteria like salmonella builds your immunity to them, whereas constantly killing the weaker ones only causes stronger strains, and more adverse reactions within your body. i ate a lot of raw eggs as a kid (blended into chocolate milk), and i have found that i am far less susceptible to food poisoning, having eaten dodgy food that only gave me gas, while unfortunate friends have gone to the hospital.
however, i have taken on the precautions of constantly cleaning things to prevent my wife and son, and any guests from getting sick. now if we could do away with anti-bacterial soap...
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Old 02-04-2006, 07:52 AM   #9
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I became more careful after having my little girl, too. I don't let her eat the dough when we make cookies, but remember always having a taste when I made cookies when I was little. Seems a shame she won't know what cookie dough tastes like, but I'd rather not have her get sick.

And I totally agree about the anti-bacterial soap!
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Old 02-04-2006, 09:29 AM   #10
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I've read that the risk of salmonella in chicken has increased with the growth of large agri-business methods of rearing chickens. Does anyone know if that's true?

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