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Old 03-03-2006, 07:45 PM   #11
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Our forebears did a lot of things that are now considerred incorrect. I wonder sometimes if they didn't have some kind of natural defense, considering all the rules they broke. I must admit, I push the rules myself, sometimes. Last week, Kim grilled some chicken, and we didn't have it alll eaten 5 days later. It had been in the fridge the whole time, and I made a great batch of chicken salad, which we ate up the next day...day 6. It was great.
My main rule is handwashing...all the time. It's the one thing that has helped me keep me from being sick, when eveyone around me is sneezing and snuffling.
I also keep my cutting boards, counter tops, untensils and hands washed off with Clorox water.
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Old 03-03-2006, 10:20 PM   #12
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When I was in junior high, we had a salmonella outbreak in the kitchen at school. MANY people got sick, and a few almost died, but luckily, everyone survived. That has not really made me paranoid about chicken.

What has made me paranoid is my training and experience in the food industry. Yes, chicken can carry salmonella. You have to be sure to take every precaution to prevent cross-contamination. I always try to cut/handle raw meats LAST when I'm prepping ingredients for a meal. I will immediately wash my hands, the cutting board, the knife, and ANYTHING else that I used for the raw meat. Anytime my hands touch raw meat, especially chicken and ground meats, I wash my hands afterwards.

TIP: You can use some baby wipes to clean and sanitize surfaces. They're moistened with denatured alcohol, which is a disinfectant.

Once you cook chicken, as long as it's fully cooked, treat it like you would any cooked meat. Chill it when you're done, cover it, and store it above raw meats, but below produce/dairy. If you're actually par-cooking chicken, and then chilling it and finishing it later, then you need to treat it as raw, and store it on the bottom of your refrigerator.

Something else that came to my mind, about our ancestors not following safe food handling practices. True, the chickens they ate, they butchered themselves, and had less of a chance of intestinal contamination. However, I know some bacterial contamination had to take place. They didn't have modern refrigeration, so even there wasn't intestinal contamination, there still was probably some bacterial growth. Heck, how long are you supposed to hang a deer? I know Escoffier wrote about hanging/seasoning meats until they were "high", which I interpretted to mean as starting to spoil.

Anyway, the point of this part of my rambling, is that our fore-fathers were probably exposed to higher levels of bacteria that what we today are accustomed to. They probably had a stronger immune system as a result. I.E.: ever been south of the Rio Grande? I have, a couple times. The first time, I made the mistake of drinking a bottled Coke out of a glass of ice that was served with the Coke. What I didn't realize was that the ice was local. Needless to say, the next 7 days were pretty ugly. However, the locals aren't affected.
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Old 03-03-2006, 10:44 PM   #13
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It's not just the intestinal tract that's a danger zone. Salmonella is also known to be present in the reproductive tract of chickens. That's the reason for the salmonella danger in eggs.

The presence of salmonella is not frequent but a recurring danger. The salmonella bacteria dies instantly at 160F. It can also be killed at lower temperatures but the meat has to be maintained at that temperature for longer periods.

I keep a spray bottle of diluted bleach and spray surfaces and implements after dealing with raw chicken. Just guessing, but maybe 90% of the time that step is unnecessary. I'm hoping to avoid the 10%.
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Old 03-04-2006, 08:11 AM   #14
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When my daughter was born there were boxes of exam gloves in our room. Somehow they ended up in our bags when we were packing to leave. I don't know how . I use them everytime I handle raw chicken. I actually just ran out the other say, but googles the name on the box and found a bunch of suppliers. I love these gloves because they are not latex so no worries about developing an allergy, they are not powdered, and they give me full mobility.

Gloves I use for cooking.
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Old 03-04-2006, 10:27 AM   #15
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gb, time for another baby.

lol, somehow we ended up with about 2 dozen of those blue and red striped cotton blankets . the latex gloves too, but they were too much fun blowing up into baloon roosters. we still use the towels tho.

the reason why salmonella poisoning wanrings for chicken is higher than other meats is that it's presence is unable to be easily detected in live chickens. in other animals, the salmonella bacteria is able to leave their gut and infect the animal directly in their blood stream, usually noticed by the animal getting diarrhea, so it is often treated before slaughtering. this reduces the instance of it getting to your table. in chickens, it remains in their gut, sometimes getting into the ovaries to infect eggs, but it has no ill effect on the animal. therefore, a greater risk of it contaminating the bird as it is slaughtered exists, as gw mentioned.
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Old 03-04-2006, 10:34 AM   #16
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Bucky, did you ever see the Howie Mandel bit where he places a latex glove over his head and blows it up. That cracks me up everytime!

OK back to the topic at hand...
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Old 03-04-2006, 12:48 PM   #17
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okay... I will try to translate what I know about Salmonella...

There are many different kinds of Salmonella and not all are virulent.

almost every animal can be infected and if they will get sick depends on the Serovar they are infected with and the amount of pathogen.
But they all can carry the germs without getting ill, so called sub-clinical Infections.
In pig Salmonella-infections are a great problem and the fewest really show symptoms, but it is relativly easy to be tested even after death.
In Germany we have for pigs the "Salmonella-monitoring" wich says that depending on the amount of animal in the stable some must be tested (about 30-50%) and then they are classified... it has influence on the money they get and higher risk animals will be killed after the lower ones.
And they must see where the infection comes from. A Vet will be send to their farm.
Salonella infected cows in Germany will be killed.

I haven't heard of anything that strict with chicken
we have a voluntary monitoring of Salmonella in eggs, we had samples about 10 to 12 times a year.
in the 7 years I worked there we found Salmonella only twice and only in the feces of the chicken.

If healthy people consume Salmonella it will do them no harm. At risk are older people, children and people with a low immunesystem.

Quote:
True, the chickens they ate, they butchered themselves, and had less of a chance of intestinal contamination. However, I know some bacterial contamination had to take place. They didn't have modern refrigeration, so even there wasn't intestinal contamination, there still was probably some bacterial growth.
If the chance of intestinal contamination wasn't that high, don' forget that the overall animal health these days was much worse. Having chicken outside is, from hygienic standards, the worst case
all these horrible things they get!! worms, nematodes, bacteria and so on
so the risk at least on the same level, if not higher.... but people that days just dealt with it, they had a very trained immune system..
and I don't want to tell you about food hanging out somewhere..... just think of flies, bacteria and molds in the air.....

I use the same cutting board but I rinse it under hot water in between... I admit that. But not only for infection reasons but because I don't like that chicken crap an the board.
I use the same knife and I usually cut the meat first....
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Old 03-04-2006, 02:25 PM   #18
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One other thing that has changed in animal husbandry since the 1950s is routine use of antibiotics and other medications in animal foods. These antibiotics have been responsible for the increased productivity of farms but have also led to more resistant strains of bacteria. The strains of bacteria in the poultry, pigs and cows of the 1950s are not necessarily the same strains of bacteria now. The strains of bacteria of the 1950s which the human body could cope with easily are not present in the same concentrations as they were then due to routine antibiotic use.
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Old 03-04-2006, 03:17 PM   #19
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There is good reason to be wary. Due to the use of so much antibiotic in raising chickens in America, the salmonella problem is very real. The methods of cleaning and processing chickens is little better than a fecal bath. Wash the chickens and wash your hands and cutting board.
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Old 03-04-2006, 04:26 PM   #20
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Gretchen,

I agree wholeheartedly. The prevention is so simple and the danger so real, it makes little sense to tempt fate with you life or health or the lives or health of your loved ones. Food contamination and foodborne illness aside, we would all benefit from better health if we washed our hands properly and more often and taught our children to do so. Fewer colds, less flu and other diseases passed by simple contact.

We would be so quick to condemn or avoid a restaurant where food servers or preparers don't wash their hands as required so why would we avoid such proven food safety procedures in preparing food for our own families?

How did this important food safety topic end up in "Off Topic, Jokes, Games ..."?
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