Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Medium Rare? Perhaps Not For Much Longer

MRSA in our food supply? The article cites a study done by Tara Smith, who blogs on Aetiology.
Then in 2008, a new source and strain of MRSA emerged in the United States. Researcher Tara Smith, PhD, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Iowa, studied two large Midwestern hog farms and found the strain, ST398, in 45 percent of farmers and 49 percent of pigs. The startling discovery — and the close connection between animal health and our own that it implied — caused widespread publicity and much official hand-wringing. To date, though, the government has yet to put a comprehensive MRSA inspection process in place, let alone fix our problematic meat-production system.
This is pretty disturbing news, and cooking food properly is only half the battle. Handling of raw meat is the time when individuals will be most exposed, and it requires that proper sanitation methods be utilized to clean up food prep areas after the meat has been prepped.

If you ask me, when I'm done with a cutting board, I'd soak all the utensils which came in contact with the meat, and the cutting board itself in a 10% bleach solution for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Only then would I thoroughly clean them with soap and water. As for cooking meat, the FSIS (Food Safety and Inspection Service) has a handy chart listing their minimal recommended temperatures. Oh, and always wash your thermometer between temp takings!

1 comment:

soil mama said...

Stuff like this just makes me cringe. I'm a vegetarian for many reasons, but one of the biggest is that these large factory farms are just not good for the animals, the environment, or us.
I had a year or so of eating meat while dealing with my infant's food allergies (dairy, soy, egg and nuts) and I was soooo paranoid about cleaning everything really well. I KNOW most meat eaters are not that careful, and I'm really surprised that more people don't get sick.

don't worry Tom, I'm not a PETA member:) I've helped raise and slaughter animals, I still give my kid turkey and ham, but I would still rather not eat meat if I don't NEED to.