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Stories Added - December 2009
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Food Safety Precautions
Tyler County Booster - December 2009
by Woodville Health Officer Frankie Rogers
With the holidays upon us, and lots of good food to prepare, now is a good time to review some safety precautions when cooking and handling food.
There are three rules we are to adhere to:
II—Cold refrigerators (no higher than 40 ° F)
III—Cooking foods to 180° F will eliminate most problems.
The problem bacteria and the biggest threat that makes us sick most often is Salmonella. These bacteria contaminate
25% of raw chicken carcasses. 180°F will assure that the chicken is safe to eat.
Eggs that are cooked Sunny Side Up or soft-boiled will harbor Salmonella. You can eliminate the bacteria by thoroughly cooking all poultry and eggs.
Shellfish cause 66° of seafood illnesses. Avoid eating
raw or barely-cooked oysters. Pure-water oysters can kill us because they can harbor Vibrio Vulnificus, bacteria found in the Gulf of Mexico. Undercooked beef harbors Ecoli that affects at least 20,000 Americans annually, usually children and older adults. A simple step to avoid illness is to cook the ground meat until there is no pink inside and the juices run clear.
Finally, you should know that Federal inspectors only check our food by sight, smell and feel. Bacteria can’t be seen, smelled or felt. The food industry does some testing, but regulators do not enforce complete testing of all food produced here or imported into the U.S. You, the Consumer, must be responsible by using some safe food handling guidelines. Your good health depends on your keeping the food clean and safe.