Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Food Safety

Preamble: I studied biology and microbiology as an undergrad, I work in medical research, I'm studying for my Master's in (basically) FDA regulations, and I am a BIG nerd.

Okay, kids - in case you live under a rock, I wanted to tell you that there's a recall on ground turkey. To be honest, the FDA is almost recalling a sort of food (for all sorts of reasons) and as food bloggers, it might be a good idea to check their website from time to time: FDA News. The news is generally pretty good about sharing details, but to get the story into the time limit, often details are left out.

In the ground turkey example, I heard on the news that ground turkey was being recalled due to antibiotic-resistant salmonella. The report didn't give company details, product timing details, anything like that. Easy to believe that this could cause panic - which is what usually happens when there's Mad Cow - people get confused, overreact, and the cattle industry crumbles. Now - foodbourne disease is NOT a joking matter, but just be sure to educate yourself about the brands and times affected in these recalls. I happened to have some ground turkey in my fridge that I was using for enchiladas last night. I looked it up online, it was a different brand, and it was packaged outside of the recall timing. Plus - it was still within the "use by" date. And then I opened the package. People - smell your food. Even though this was perfectly safe to eat - it smelled funky as all get out. Completely unrelated to the recall. Antibiotic-resistant and heat-resistant bacterium are on the rise.

So - my two-fold message: knowledge is power (research your food!) and cook your food thoroughly. But if your food smells funny, heat won't really help. Curdled milk, turned meat, anything with mold... these aren't really safe to eat, even without a recall. Be aware and be safe out there! I smelled the meat, threw it out, and went and got new meat. And then the enchiladas were amazing.

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