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Catering, Food Handling and Awareness *OnTopic* Forum to educate us on safe food handling. Not specifically for Catering or competition but overall health and keeping our families safe too.


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Unread 07-24-2007, 08:10 AM   #1
timzcardz
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Default It can happen in your backyard too.

http://www.newsday.com/search/ny-lic...,3907762.story

EXCERPT:
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E. coli in ground beef sickens 7 in Suffolk

Seven people in Suffolk were sickened in recent weeks after eating undercooked ground beef contaminated with E. coli bacteria, county health officials said yesterday.

In one case, a visiting 8-year-old North Carolina girl was hospitalized after her kidneys shut down, said Dr. Patricia Dillon, director of communicable diseases for Suffolk's health department. The girl remained hospitalized yesterday.

All the victims told health officials they ate hamburgers at home or at backyard barbecues.

. . . . Dillon said the analysis showed that the meats that sickened people here were contaminated in the production chain outside Suffolk.


There will always elements outside of our control, such as in this case, so it is important to completely control that which is within our realm in handling food safely once it is in our possession.

I wouldn't be surprised to find out that although contaminated elsewhere, that the situation may have been compounded after the fact by less than ideal handling practices.
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Unread 07-24-2007, 08:14 AM   #2
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Cool

scary...phew, glad they weren't our burgers!

but how do you prevent it? what are the proper precautions?

and please don't tell me to kill my burgers...lol, love em rare!!
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Unread 07-24-2007, 09:40 AM   #3
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Teh only true way to prevent this is cooking all ground meat to well done. I thinkn there are some rules I observe that might help...first, any pre-made patties, regardless of where I get them get cooked to med-well. Just a rule I have as I have no idea where they came from or what their life was like before I met them. After that is fresh ground from the butcher/market I'll be more lenient with, as well as if I ground them myself. I guess it comes down to my comfort with knowing where the meat was and how it was handled. But again the only true way is to burn the heck out of them. Scott
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Unread 07-24-2007, 09:41 AM   #4
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What is not known from the article are the following:

Was the meat stored at the correct temperature to slow the growth of the e coli?

Was the meat out (warming to a more conducive temperature for growth) for an extended period of time prior to cooking?

Was the same plate used without washing for both the uncooked and the cooked burgers thereby contaminating cooked burgers?



I am fairly certain that the greater the number or concentratin of ecoli, the greater the risk. Look at swimming at the beach. Beaches get closed when the number rises above a certain level, so below that the risk in minimal or aceptable. In prepping and cooking, the object is to make sure that we don't compound a problem and tend to what is within our control.
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Unread 07-24-2007, 09:48 AM   #5
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Or .........



You could just use Antibacterial Dawn on all of your meat like I do!

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Unread 07-24-2007, 09:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yakfishingfool View Post
But again the only true way is to burn the heck out of them. Scott
AHHHHHHHH!! no please don't, I'll just pass on the burger, love em rare
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Unread 07-24-2007, 10:15 AM   #7
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yeah, I've gotten re-hooked on the rare burger, especially the way we had them saturday evening. I wonder if he puts anything into the meat? I saw what goes on it.....Scott
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Unread 07-24-2007, 10:22 AM   #8
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Bacteria count doubles every 20 minutes when in the danger zone. So yes, they may have been fine for consumption at one point, but if left out for two hours would raise hell with the eater.
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Unread 07-24-2007, 10:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yakfishingfool View Post
I wonder if he puts anything into the meat? I saw what goes on it.....Scott
Skippy burgers are all beef, nothing added...except some salt during the cooking process.
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Unread 07-24-2007, 11:47 AM   #10
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MMMmmmm...need one right now...No, actually two!!!!
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Unread 07-24-2007, 12:05 PM   #11
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You guys see why some of us take this food handling thing so seriously?
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Unread 07-24-2007, 02:41 PM   #12
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The only way I think it can be safe to eat rare burger is to grind it yourself.
If you have ever been in a beef processing plant...............
Well let's just say you probably wouldn't eat beef for a very long time.

Suffice it to say all ground meat needs to be cooked thoroughly.
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Unread 07-24-2007, 03:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbqjoe View Post
The only way I think it can be safe to eat rare burger is to grind it yourself.
If you have ever been in a beef processing plant...............
Well let's just say you probably wouldn't eat beef for a very long time.

Suffice it to say all ground meat needs to be cooked thoroughly.
Amen to this......All kinds of 'foreign' material is floating around those places.....
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Unread 07-24-2007, 11:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaBeBBQueen View Post
Skippy burgers are all beef, nothing added...except some salt during the cooking process.
im starting to feel sick from williepalooza after having my skip burger, you and skip have a good lawyer? i would settle for some whistles
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Unread 07-25-2007, 08:23 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yakfishingfool View Post
Teh only true way to prevent this is cooking all ground meat to well done. I thinkn there are some rules I observe that might help...first, any pre-made patties, regardless of where I get them get cooked to med-well. Just a rule I have as I have no idea where they came from or what their life was like before I met them. After that is fresh ground from the butcher/market I'll be more lenient with, as well as if I ground them myself. I guess it comes down to my comfort with knowing where the meat was and how it was handled. But again the only true way is to burn the heck out of them. Scott
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbqjoe View Post
The only way I think it can be safe to eat rare burger is to grind it yourself.
If you have ever been in a beef processing plant...............
Well let's just say you probably wouldn't eat beef for a very long time.

Suffice it to say all ground meat needs to be cooked thoroughly.
Guys, Because I like medium rare burgers, I used to think the same thing myself. That fresh ground meat was safer than store-bought ground beef....and you could enjoy it cooked less done, with less risk. But that is wrong. I had posted that sort of information on my cookin' site and would mention it in forum posts from time-to-time. Several very knowledgeable folks explained otherwise (Including Dr BBQ, who also admitted to eating his burgers more to the rare side) It boils down to the fact that any baddies on the surface of meat are destroyed when the muscle is cooked whole, but when ground (and no matter who grinds it) the surface meat, along with any baddies, is mixed into the remainder of the meat.

I would have to agree with Joe in that bad cutting room practices can worsen the conditions we are talking about, so that gives a slight edge to home ground meats. So.....Regardless of our personal levels of doneness (or threshold of risk), the final advice that "should" be given and "should" be followed, is exactly what both of you mentioned in the last lines of your post. Good job.
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