ANGELES — A salmonella outbreak has been linked to chicken
from three Foster Farms processing facilities in California,
sickening nearly 300 people in multiple states and triggering
a public health alert.
everywhere should remember the steps to protect against
food-borne illnesses such as salmonella, which is one of the
most common causes of food poisoning in the United States,
according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps and
vomiting that can last four to seven days.
Agriculture Department’s Food Safety and Inspection Service
"reminds consumers to properly handle raw poultry in a
manner to prevent contamination from spreading to other foods
and food contact surfaces." Whenever you decide to work
with chicken — or any high-risk foods, including raw or
lightly cooked eggs, other poultry and ground meats and
unpasteurized milk — here are seven safety tips to keep in
meat cold: The USDA recommends storing meat at 40 degrees or
below. When you buy meat at the store, purchase it last and
bring it home quickly to refrigerate and keep it out of the
"temperature danger zone" at which bacteria
your temperatures: If not using within a day or two, meat
should be frozen. Thaw frozen meat under refrigeration — do
not leave it out on a counter to defrost. Likewise, store eggs
away from the door and toward the back of the refrigerator to
keep them cold.
against leaks: Seal and properly store: Make sure the meat is
fully wrapped (place it in a plastic bag before buying) so raw
juices do not leak and potentially contaminate other
groceries. At home, store raw meats at the bottom of the
refrigerator, below items like fruits, vegetables, breads and
cheese, to prevent possible contamination from leakage.
Placing meat on a rimmed baking sheet or plate can also help
wash, wash: Wash your hands and all surfaces before and after
up your work area: Be sure to thoroughly clean any surfaces
that came in contact with the meat. There is controversy about
whether chicken should be rinsed off in a sink. If you decide
to do so, make sure you scrub down the sink area, and any
nearby areas that may have been splashed by contaminated
out your utensils: Do not use utensils or equipment on cooked
foods that were previously used on raw foods. This includes
cutting boards, tongs and plates. Make sure all items are
cleaned thoroughly before using on cooked foods.
to a safe temperature: Keep in mind that high-risk foods can
harbor bacteria. When an animal is slaughtered, the surface of
the meat can be exposed to bacteria. As the meat is ground,
this bacteria can spread, contaminating the ground meat
throughout. Cook meats and eggs to a safe internal
temperature, and check the temperature for meats using a meat
thermometer. For chicken, poultry and any ground meats, cook
to at least 165 degrees (well-done).