I recently finished a food protection course and wondered why these lessons were not a part of my public school education. Perhaps all of this is common sense for meat eaters. How much do you think you know?
1. I learned that all chicken & poultry are naturally contaminated with salmonella. This is contrary to the isolated cases of outbreaks that we hear about in the media. These meats must be received fresh at 41 degrees and below or frozen at zero degrees or less. They must be kept at these temperatures until prep time.
2. There is no way to inspect fish for bacteria, other than with your eyes. (e.g., look for fish with clear & bulging eyes and firm, elastic skin)
3. Shellfish are linked to Hepatitis A.
4. Meat and eggs should have both a USDA inspection stamp and a USDA grade stamp. The inspection pledges cleanliness and safety and the grading is more so about taste and tenderness.
5. Meats and cooked starches are in danger of increasing, exponentially, their microorganisms. Keep them at or below 41F or heated above 140F. We need thermometers in our refrigerators and kitchens!
6. Marine fish like tuna, mackerel, bluefish and dolphin have high levels of histidine in their flesh, during bacterial decomposition, which converts to histamines. Cooking does not remove histamines. “Histamine fish poisoning is among the most common toxicities related to fish ingestion, constituting 37% of all seafood-related food-borne illnesses reported to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)”.- Daniel Noltkamper, MD, FACEP
7. Under warm and moist conditions food bacteria can grow to 2 organisms in 30 minutes and to 256 organisms in 4 hours. Are you thinking about picnic food?
8. Carbonated water is so acidic that it erodes metal. Then what does it do to your teeth and tissues?
9. One fly may carry as many as 28 million bacteria and have been proven to cause food borne illnesses. Flies cannot chew food, instead they vomit to soften it first before eating again. Flies on food are considered a critical violation during health inspections. “Fly vomit?”
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City Of New York Department Of Health And Mental Hygiene
Food Protection Course
Histamine Toxicity from Fish, Daniel Noltkamper, MD, FACEP http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1009464-overview