Saturday, October 04, 2008

Blame It On The Cook

The USDA issued a press release yesterday that explained the cause of recent cases of chicken-linked salmonellosis in 12 states:1
"Individuals who became ill did not follow the cooking instructions."
They reminded consumers:
" ... of the critical importance of following package cooking instructions."

"It is especially important to use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of these chicken products such that all points of measurement are at least 165° F."
Personally, I think it would be more effective not to package chicken with pathogenic bacteria. But if that's what food manufacturers want to do, they should label it as such:
The enclosed Chicken Cordon Blue Dinner Entree was prepared with a life-threatening dose of Salmonella bacteria. Diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, chills, headache, nausea and vomiting are likely to occur within 3 days of consumption.

Those wishing to forego these symptoms should acquire an accurate, instant-read food thermometer, precise enough to measure a confident 165° F, and deeply poke every cooked entree several times, in "all points of measurement" immediately after entrees emerge from a hot oven. Do not lick fingers. Failure to follow these instructions will ensure an intimate relationship with the bathroom for up to a week.
1 USDA/FSIS Issues Public Health Alert For Frozen, Stuffed Raw Chicken Products, October 3, 2008

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