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View Poll Results: Salmonella poisoning is whose fault?
Foster Farms 20 74.07%
Consumers 6 22.22%
Undecided 1 3.70%
Voters: 27. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Oct 10, 2013, 08:31 PM   #26
MrWillie
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As far as the chicken goes, it's the fault of our government and large corporate farms. If you want to be safe, buy your chicken alive and only get your produce from farmer's markets. We have a nice one, they don't sell animal products.


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Originally Posted by citizenzen View Post
This is the one that gets me. I was fine with contaminated food so long as it only killed off you carnivores. But now that I realize veg-heads like me are at risk, something must be done!
Vegetables are the stem, leaf, and roots of the plant. What we buy as cantaloupe at the market is the ripened ovary of a flowering plant, containing one or more seeds. That would make you a fruit...
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Old Oct 10, 2013, 10:43 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by hulugu View Post
Don't. Wash. Your. Chicken.

Unless you're washing the chicken with soap, you're just spreading salmonella around your kitchen.

Instead, you have to handle meat and eggs carefully. If you handle raw meat you should wash your hands. All utensils should be washed and you should use different cutting boards at minimum.

Generally speaking, meat is the best vector for pathogens, but there have been outbreaks because of melons, spinach, and tomatoes.
I am frying two organic chicken breasts from Trader Joe's as we speak. I know, I know Zombie Acorn thinks they are a horrible socialist enterprise because some of their cashiers make upwards of 40k a year (even though they are a wildly successful company and are even privately owned).

I used a fork to remove them from the package and put them in the frying pan, and then promptly put the packaging in the garbage. But then I had to wash my hands. I forgot that there were clean dishes in the other half of the sink and then had to reach over the dishes to get the soap. I potentially contaminated the clean dishes as well as the sink and the basin and the soap container as well as the countertop and possibly even the floor.

When did it become necessary that the average American kitchen become as sterile as an operating room?
Four posters certainly think that that is normal behavior.
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Old Oct 11, 2013, 12:05 AM   #28
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This has less to do with any specific policies and more to do with the industrialization of food production. With most other production, there are huge upsides to scale and few downsides. The more units are made, the faster and cheaper everything gets.

With food, the more plants or animals share a given field/hatchery/barn/processor, the more everything gets mixed together and the easier pathogens move around. Basically, the bad scales up along with the good. So instead of one event affecting 10 animals and 100 people, it's now 1000 animals and 100000 people.

We can shrink the risks back down, but only if we are willing to pay the higher unit costs of smaller scale production. It's that or assume that any chicken is contaminated so that every chicken is safe.
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Old Oct 11, 2013, 05:48 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by ElectronGuru View Post
This has less to do with any specific policies and more to do with the industrialization of food production. With most other production, there are huge upsides to scale and few downsides. The more units are made, the faster and cheaper everything gets.

With food, the more plants or animals share a given field/hatchery/barn/processor, the more everything gets mixed together and the easier pathogens move around. Basically, the bad scales up along with the good. So instead of one event affecting 10 animals and 100 people, it's now 1000 animals and 100000 people.

We can shrink the risks back down, but only if we are willing to pay the higher unit costs of smaller scale production. It's that or assume that any chicken is contaminated so that every chicken is safe.
Over here in the EU battery hens are illegal so that reduces the problem a bit.

And free range chicken and eggs are readily available so there is some higher quality competition.
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Old Oct 11, 2013, 06:26 AM   #30
Kissaragi
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Originally Posted by MacNut View Post
Does all chicken have a risk for dangerous for bacteria?
Around 60-70% of raw chicken has traces of dangerous bacteria, its not usually salmonella, just other potentially fatal types.

There does seem to be some issue of contamination here but if your handling raw chicken improperly or not cooking it well then your asking for trouble.
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Old Oct 12, 2013, 11:39 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by LIVEFRMNYC View Post
Unfortunately I doubt most people follow that. People rarely wash their hands before eating out, just imagine what most do in the comfort of their own home. And yes, I've been guilty as well but I'm more aware now.
Yes, let's make it the government's responsibility to protect people from themselves. Brilliant.

-t
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Old Oct 12, 2013, 11:58 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Yes, let's make it the government's responsibility to protect people from themselves. Brilliant.

-t
So you don't believe the US military is necessary? What about automobile safety standards, the NTSB, the NIH. Where do you draw the line?
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Old Oct 13, 2013, 02:07 AM   #33
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So you don't believe the US military is necessary? What about automobile safety standards, the NTSB, the NIH. Where do you draw the line?
Things that can be influenced by taking personal responsibility.

Neither wars, not automobile design fall in that category.

We need to stop making the government a nanny to cover up personal irresponsibility and laziness.

-t
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Old Oct 13, 2013, 03:56 AM   #34
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It is all but impossible to raise, slaughter, and process poultry without at least some risk of contamination by salmonella or other harmful bacteria. Processing poultry on an industrial scale isn't inherently more dangerous than other methods, but it does increase the risk of larger scale outbreaks of food-borne disease. Its important to recognize that salmonella is a naturally-occuring bacteria.

When it comes to preventing salmonella poisoning in the home, the most important rule is this: Cook your chicken properly. Chicken needs to be cooked to a minimum of 165°F, Check with a meat thermometer to be on the safe side.

Most experts recommend you not wash chicken before cooking it. All this does is spread contamination across the cooking and food preparation area.
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Old Oct 13, 2013, 12:14 PM   #35
LIVEFRMNYC
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Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Yes, let's make it the government's responsibility to protect people from themselves. Brilliant.

-t
So according to your logic ........ Chicken should be labeled ......"Keep out of reach of children".

According to your logic ..... When eating out in a restaurant, we should just have complete trust that they cook chicken properly and haven't contaminated other areas even when highly busy. Inspectors should only look for bugs that carry diseases but nevermind the already tainted chicken.

Maybe computers should be sold with viruses and malware already installed, since it's our responsibility to run a scanner and clean it up.
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Old Oct 13, 2013, 02:11 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Things that can be influenced by taking personal responsibility.

Neither wars, not automobile design fall in that category.

We need to stop making the government a nanny to cover up personal irresponsibility and laziness.

-t
Why not? Consider it a valuable service you paid for with taxes. Inspect my food chain, inspect my restaurants. Keep them save. Here's a few bucks.
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Old Oct 13, 2013, 02:28 PM   #37
citizenzen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
We need to stop making the government a nanny to cover up personal irresponsibility and laziness.
Okay. Where does personal responsibility come into play with selling contaminated and harmful products?

What about the "laziness" involved with not properly cleaning, handling and producing chicken products?

Is there no personal responsibility on the part of the Foster Farms?
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Old Oct 14, 2013, 08:18 PM   #38
Cave Man
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Originally Posted by jnpy!$4g3cwk View Post
The problem is that with industrialized chicken production there is virtually no way for all the chicken to be clean enough.
This simply isn't true. The risk of acquiring a food-borne pathogen from a properly managed facility is extremely small.

Quote:
I don't accept this particular chicken production method.
In all likelihood, they failed to immunize their chicks against Salmonella species, a practice that virtually all large commercial producers do. They probably also didn't have procedures an practices in place that are formalized in the Code of Federal Regulations, the leverage the USDA uses to force companies into compliance.

Quote:
Unfortunately, all such chicken is contaminated to some level some of the time. It is a matter of degree.
Again, not true.

Quote:
Cantaloupe, and lettuce. Lettuce and other salad ingredients are especially tricky because it is almost always eaten raw and you eat the leaves. At least with cantaloupe, you can wash the outside and you are eating the inside. It isn't perfect, but, it is lower risk.
Your understanding of food-borne pathogens is poor. Most pathogenic bacteria that get into produce, including Salmonella and Campylobacter species and E. coli, do so while the plants are seedlings emerging from the ground. The bacteria are in the interstitial tissues of the plants and no amount of washing will get rid of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrWillie View Post
As far as the chicken goes, it's the fault of our government and large corporate farms. If you want to be safe, buy your chicken alive and only get your produce from farmer's markets. We have a nice one, they don't sell animal products.
Holy smokes, there is no substance to this argument. Most corporate poultry producers, such as Tyson Foods, keep their chickens in enclosed facilities that are sequestered from outside exposure events. Moreover, these flocks get proper veterinary care and vaccinations as chicks to reduce the risk of infection with Salmonella species. They do so because it is compliant with Federal regulations (USDA) and because it's good business practice to do so. It's very rare for one of these well-run commercial entities to have an incident like this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElectronGuru View Post
With food, the more plants or animals share a given field/hatchery/barn/processor, the more everything gets mixed together and the easier pathogens move around. Basically, the bad scales up along with the good. So instead of one event affecting 10 animals and 100 people, it's now 1000 animals and 100000 people.
Every company has to decide how much risk they're willing to take. Immunization of chicks against Salmonella species is not required, thus some companies decide not to have the extra expense of immunizing their chicks. This risk is a greater probability of an outbreak of a food-borne pathogen. The larger companies tend to view risk more adversely because they have more to lose, thus pay the extra expenses for mitigating pathogens in a flock.
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Old Oct 14, 2013, 08:42 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ugg View Post
I am frying two organic chicken breasts from Trader Joe's as we speak. I know, I know Zombie Acorn thinks they are a horrible socialist enterprise because some of their cashiers make upwards of 40k a year (even though they are a wildly successful company and are even privately owned).

I used a fork to remove them from the package and put them in the frying pan, and then promptly put the packaging in the garbage. But then I had to wash my hands. I forgot that there were clean dishes in the other half of the sink and then had to reach over the dishes to get the soap. I potentially contaminated the clean dishes as well as the sink and the basin and the soap container as well as the countertop and possibly even the floor.
Ah this really made me laugh. It's something about the way you describe it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ugg View Post
When did it become necessary that the average American kitchen become as sterile as an operating room?
Four posters certainly think that that is normal behavior.
Chicken has always been problematic, and given the potential for contamination in it and other things, a method to minimize risks is to avoid the potential for cross contamination. Just be glad you don't have weird food allergies on top of that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post

We need to stop making the government a nanny to cover up personal irresponsibility and laziness.

-t
It doesn't work at that scale due to the lack of available information. How would you know what brand of chicken is safest? In the case of a car, it has the potential to affect others, not just the one who purchased it.
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Old Oct 14, 2013, 09:52 PM   #40
jnpy!$4g3cwk
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Originally Posted by Cave Man View Post
This simply isn't true. The risk of acquiring a food-borne pathogen from a properly managed facility is extremely small.
Funny, here is a sample that Consumer Reports did in 1998. Headline: 71% of store-bought chicken has harmful bacteria:

Quote:
Microbiological tests of store-bought chickens, published in the March issue of Consumer Reports magazine, found Campylobacter, a rod-shaped bacterium and the leading cause of food poisoning nationwide, in 63 percent of the chickens tested, while Salmonella was found in 16 percent of the chickens. Those numbers include eight percent of the total number tested that had both Campylobacter and Salmonella. Only 29 percent were free from both. The testing is the most comprehensive of its kind ever published in the US, and uses a sample size of almost 1000 fresh chickens purchased at retail stores in 36 cities.

Public health officials estimate that the annual cost of illnesses caused by Campylobacter is up to $5.6 billion and salmonella is up to $3.5 billion. Campylobacter is responsible for 1.1 to 7 million food-borne infections and 110 to 1000 deaths each year. And Salmonella sickens some 700,000 to 4 million people, though it’s deadlier, killing up to 2000.

The two bacterial contaminants can be eliminated if the chicken is cooked to an interior temperature of 180° (breasts to 170°). But cooking a chicken to the proper temperature is only half the battle – cooks have to be careful not to spread the bacteria via contaminated implements, pans, cutting boards, kitchen towels, and sponges.
http://consumersunion.org/news/consu...mful-bacteria/

Then, 11 years later:

Quote:
Consumer Reports latest tests, released today, of 382 whole chickens bought from more than 100 stores in 22 states, found that two-thirds harbor disease-causing bacteria—salmonella, campylobacter or both (read the full report). While one name brand, Perdue, and most air-chilled organic chickens were significantly less contaminated than Foster Farms and Tyson brand chicken, consumers still need to be extremely vigilant in handling and cooking chicken.

The National Chicken Council responded to these results by downplaying the problem. In a statement issued today the NCC said, “Like all fresh foods, raw chicken may have some microorganisms present, but these are destroyed by the heat of normal cooking." True about cooking, but it is hard to think of another category of food where your chances are better than 50-50 of encountering a contaminated product. If a consumer slips up and raw chicken juices drip on salad greens in the refrigerator, or a cook uses a contaminated chicken knife on a salad tomato, the consequences could be severe.

The chicken industry can do better. For the store-brand organic chicken CR tested, the salmonella contamination rate was zero—not one of the 44 samples had any salmonella (unfortunately the same cannot be said of campylobacter, which showed up in 57 percent of the store-brand organic birds).

In all likelihood, they failed to immunize their chicks against Salmonella species, a practice that virtually all large commercial producers do. They probably also didn't have procedures an practices in place that are formalized in the Code of Federal Regulations, the leverage the USDA uses to force companies into compliance.
Then, here is a recent article (June 2013) from Food Safety News:

Quote:
The levels of bacteria in broiler chickens at the processing plant appears to be related to the amount of bacteria found among birds on the farm, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of Georgia, Athens looked at the prevalence and loads of Salmonella and Campylobacter in 55 flocks at a large chicken farm in Georgia and found that high levels of these bacteria on the farm corresponded to high levels on carcasses at the processing plant.

Most cases of Campylobacter infection in the U.S. are associated with eating raw or undercooked poultry, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A 2011 study conducted by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service found that of the Salmonella illnesses attributed to undercooked meat, poultry and eggs in the U.S., 48 percent are attributed to chicken, while 17 percent are attributed to turkey.

In recent years, studies have found that between 50 and 80 percent of chickens sold at retail are contaminated with Campylobacter, while approximately 15 percent carry Salmonella.

Quote:
Your understanding of food-borne pathogens is poor. Most pathogenic bacteria that get into produce, including Salmonella and Campylobacter species and E. coli, do so while the plants are seedlings emerging from the ground. The bacteria are in the interstitial tissues of the plants and no amount of washing will get rid of them.
You might be right, but, that isn't the impression that I get from this 2011 article. I don't have statistics on what fraction of incidents is caused by each type of contamination. Perhaps if you do you can post the references.

Quote:
SALINAS -- Five years after their healthy-looking green fields became the epicenter of a national food disaster, farmers in the Salinas Valley are still working to regain something even the most bountiful harvest can't ensure: the public's trust.

They are doing their best to rebound after investigators linked spinach grown and bagged here to a deadly E. coli strain that would kill three people, sicken 206 more and shake the nation's faith in California leafy greens. So far, they have succeeded in avoiding another major outbreak.

Yet memories of that turbulent autumn resurfaced after the recent deaths of 29 people from listeria-tainted Colorado cantaloupe. And the impact of the 2006 outbreak in the nation's salad bowl -- famous for its spinach, romaine and spring mix -- shapes the farmers' actions every day.

Salinas Valley growers and processors have retooled nearly every step in their industry -- from planting seedlings to harvesting and washing greens. They have rallied to create a state-industry pact on how to protect 14 types of leafy greens that is being held up as a national model.

"It was the watershed moment for the produce industry," said Joe Pezzini, chief operating officer of Ocean Mist Farms in Castroville.
http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_19411654


Quote:
Holy smokes, there is no substance to this argument. Most corporate poultry producers, such as Tyson Foods, keep their chickens in enclosed facilities that are sequestered from outside exposure events. Moreover, these flocks get proper veterinary care and vaccinations as chicks to reduce the risk of infection with Salmonella species. They do so because it is compliant with Federal regulations (USDA) and because it's good business practice to do so. It's very rare for one of these well-run commercial entities to have an incident like this.

Every company has to decide how much risk they're willing to take. Immunization of chicks against Salmonella species is not required, thus some companies decide not to have the extra expense of immunizing their chicks. This risk is a greater probability of an outbreak of a food-borne pathogen. The larger companies tend to view risk more adversely because they have more to lose, thus pay the extra expenses for mitigating pathogens in a flock.
I am having a difficult time reconciling your reaction with what I have read in these and other articles about the frequency of contamination of poultry.
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Old Oct 15, 2013, 08:16 AM   #41
Cave Man
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Originally Posted by jnpy!$4g3cwk View Post
Funny, here is a sample that Consumer Reports did in 1998. Headline: 71% of store-bought chicken has harmful bacteria:
The vaccines started hitting the market in 1992 and the last one in the mid/late-2000s, so it's not surprising that in 1996 when this report was issued or even in the mid-2000s that incidence was higher. However, as I stated, those companies that use proper management (i.e., according to the 9CFR 417) and vaccination of their chicks to prevent ovarian colonization of Salmonella, which are the majority of the big corporations such as Tyson Foods, have extremely clean birds for salmonellae bacteria.

In Belgium, where vaccination of chicks is mandatory, they have almost no poultry-borne salmonellosis.

Campy is another story.
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