Protect Yourself From Salmonella This Thanksgiving

I know this is daunting, but one thing to be grateful for this year is the past few months to reveal that the epidemic has never subsided, and the food safety rules the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration are ill-equipped to stop it. I know, I vote.

I bring up Salmonella to prepare you, not to scare you (most of the ProPublica reporters who ate poultry before working on this story still eat poultry). While the food regulation system cannot stop the rise of infantis, a type of salmonella that doctors are having a hard time treating, there are many steps you can take to protect yourself.

For what it’s worth, salmonella tends to be present. path It’s more common with chicken than with a whole turkey, and the tips below apply to either bird (and pretty much any other bird) you want to eat.

Control Your Turkey Using ProPublica’s Chicken Checker.

Your turkey’s packaging should come with a P number. It is usually found on the USDA’s inspection mark or printed near the expiration date, inspection stamp, or price tag. ProPublica has created a searchable database showing salmonella records of the nation’s poultry plants. Enter the P-number on your package and you can: See the salmonella rate Where did the chicken come from?

If you notice your bird is coming from a place where there are high-risk salmonella cases, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t throw it away. It just means you have to be extra careful while preparing it.

As an additional note, we have not finished reporting on salmonella in poultry. If you’d like to help, please fill out the form below Chicken Checker to share your bird’s P-number and where you purchased it. This will assist our reporting on the poultry supply chain.

Don’t Rinse Your Turkey.

We see this all the time. You unpack the turkey and put everything under the water. Understood. Poultry is sticky and your elders taught you how to do it. But if your turkey has salmonella, rinsing is a great way to splash the bacteria onto other surfaces in your kitchen where you’d least expect it. USDA says. This is called cross contamination. Eliminate it, you will find, here is a theme.

Executive Director, Britanny Saunier, Partnership for Food Safety Education, told me that rinsing poultry has been a habit from a time when birds came from your own garden or a local farm and had to remove actual dirt from them. There’s no need to rinse a processed bird, though.

Wash Your Hands (With Soap) Repeatedly!

Remember how everyone relearned how to wash their hands to the fullest in March 2020. recommended by the CDC 20 seconds and nervously joking about how touching your face will kill you? Now take that spirit on vacation. Before you start cooking, wash your hands. Then wash it again, maybe after each step. Most importantly, you should always wash your hands between touching raw meat and everything else in your kitchen.

Some people prefer to buy gloves. I find this annoying because you have to constantly turn it on and off to avoid cross contamination. But what keeps you the most alert and your kitchen the cleanest is the way to go.

Actually Wash Everything (With Soap)!!

Salmonella bacteria are resistant small microbes. They can survive on surfaces for hours or days and cannot be killed by drying or freezing. according to the FDA. If you do touch raw turkey, wash your hands immediately afterwards. But let’s say you forget and get something from your fridge. It is probably worth disinfecting the handle of the refrigerator now. And the faucet you use to wash your hands. Did you prepare your turkey at the counter? Clean. Are you using a cutting board? Clean it up too. Checking a recipe on your phone? Get this job.

Keep Your Raw Turkey Separate From Everything Else.

Do not use the same cutting boards to prepare raw turkey and vegetables without thoroughly cleaning them. Minimize raw poultry contact surfaces and other foods as much as possible. For example, do not put cooked meat on the plate where they sit raw.

Get a Meat Thermometer (or Several).

Salmonella – even the most dangerous species – will die out at 165 degrees Fahrenheit, and a meat thermometer is the only sure way to tell if your poultry has reached that temperature. USDA recommends placing the device on the deepest part of the breast, the innermost part of the thigh and the innermost part of the wing. White meat cooks faster than dark, so these three pieces will reach 165 degrees at different times during the cooking process, but they all need to reach 165 degrees before you can eat your bird.

Some people cook their turkey hotter than 165 (especially the tougher breasts). This is a personal search. ProPublica doesn’t care how hot your bird is, as long as it’s warmer than 165 per millimeter.

(ProPublica data reporter Irena Hwang also really told you rest your flesh after you finish cooking. Just not for very long.)

There’s really no good way to see if your turkey is cooked well enough to kill the salmonella. Just take the thermometer; You can even bring one as a gift to your host.

Be Very Careful With Stuffing and Pickles.

Stuffing can have its own salmonella from ingredients like raw eggs and can become contaminated from the bird itself if you stuff it inside. It can also cause your turkey to cook unevenly. It’s safer and easier to cook your stuffing separately. If you insist your stuffing be cooked inside your bird, be sure to use your meat thermometer to check its temperature as well—again, 165 is the salmonella killing temperature—and Follow USDA’s recommendations while preparing.

Marinating, brining and basting your bird are all great strategies for getting the best flavor from your poultry. NS USDA says A turkey can marinate in the refrigerator for up to two days before it becomes unsafe to eat. Please do not reuse your marinade for anything unless you boil it first. He’s been hanging out with raw turkey for hours.

Making sure your kitchen isn’t cross-contaminated and cooking your turkey at least 165 degrees is a good way to avoid Thanksgiving salmonella accidents so you can focus on the important things, like whether the turkey tastes good or fighting with your family. (if that’s your thing), parades and football.

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