rainn.png
Friday December 13th, 2019 7:39AM

Stop! Washing your Thanksgiving turkey could spread germs

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEW YORK (AP) — Go ahead and rinse your cranberries, potatoes and green beans. But food experts say don’t — repeat don’t — wash the turkey before popping it in the oven on Thanksgiving Day.

They say that could spread the germs lurking on your turkey in the kitchen sink or nearby food. But it’s been a challenge trying to convince cooks to stop rinsing off raw poultry.

“If your mother did it and your grandmother did it, and suddenly the (government) says not to wash your turkey, you may take some time to adjust,” said Drusilla Banks, who teaches food sanitation for the University of Illinois Extension.

Germs that can make people sick are common in the guts of healthy poultry and are legally allowed to be on raw turkey and chicken. The assumption is that nobody eats their poultry rare, and that thorough cooking will kill the bacteria.

So it’s possible that two common causes of food poisoning — salmonella and campylobacter — are on the turkey, said Mindy Brashears, a food safety official at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The do-not-wash raw poultry advice from the USDA is relatively new and perhaps hasn’t caught on because it goes against the ingrained belief that washing makes things clean, said Banks.

Participants in a food safety study offered their own rationale: “If it’s still slimy — I’m not sure what that is. It just feels good to wash it,” said one. Another said: “My grandmother taught me that. She just said to wash all your food because there’s no telling where it’s been before it got in the pack.”

Benjamin Chapman, a study author and food safety expert at North Carolina State University, said the instinct to wash raw poultry goes back at least decades when people relied more on visual cues to spot problems with poultry. TV chef Julia Child was among those who said washing chicken was “just the safer thing to do” before experts began advising against it.

But food prep is a juggling act, and germs from poultry can be spread even if it’s not washed, especially when birds are removed from packaging. It’s why washing and sanitizing hands, utensils and surfaces are even more important.

The USDA-funded study underscores that point.

Researchers sprayed raw chicken with a harmless strain of E. coli and watched volunteer cooks at test kitchens. Among those who washed their raw chicken, about a quarter ended up spreading the bacteria to their lettuce. But even some of those who did not rinse the chicken got germs on the lettuce.

There are other opportunities for germs to survive and thrive on turkeys: thawing and cooking.

For thawing, experts say frozen birds shouldn’t be left out on counters since germs can start multiplying on the outer parts that defrost first. They instead recommend thawing in fridges, cold water or in microwaves. You can also cook a frozen turkey, but it will take a lot longer.

And to ensure a bird is thoroughly cooked, they say to use a thermometer to check that the deepest and thickest parts of it have reached 165 degrees.

Even after the meal is cooked, you aren’t out of the danger zone. To keep turkey and other leftovers safe, experts say they should be refrigerated after two hours.

___

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Health, AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Stop! Washing your Thanksgiving turkey could spread germs
‘My grandmother taught me that:’ Food safety experts say not to wash Thanksgiving turkeys before cooking, even if relatives did
9:27AM ( 6 minutes ago )
Failing ice cellars signal changes in Alaska whaling towns
Add ice cellars to the list of environmental victims in Alaska’s Native whaling villages
9:22AM ( 11 minutes ago )
Mother of slain man sues Cleveland mayor, police chief
A woman who says her son was killed by gang members connected to an Ohio mayor’s grandson has filed a wrongful death lawsuit saying the mayor and a police chief interfered in the slaying’s investigation
1:21AM ( 8 hours ago )
U.S. News
Iran's Guard threatens US, allies over protests
The head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard threatened the U.S. and its allies as he addressed a pro-government demonstration attended by tens of thousands of people denouncing last week’s violent protests over a fuel price hike
9:14AM ( 20 minutes ago )
UK Conservatives defending policy-light election platform
Britain’s governing Conservative Party is defending an election platform that is light on policy proposals, as it tries to avoid squandering its poll lead before polling day in less than three weeks
9:04AM ( 30 minutes ago )
At least 7 dead as heavy rain hits France, Italy, Greece
Officially say at least seven people died as heavy rain slammed the Riviera coasts of France and Italy, trapping travelers in their cars, as well as parts of western Greece
8:56AM ( 38 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Pope in Japan voices concern over nuke power, meets victims
Pope Francis has voiced concern about nuclear power after meeting with victims of Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster, saying the development of future energy sources must take environmental considerations into account
7:37AM ( 1 hour ago )
Charles Schwab buys TD Ameritrade in brokerage blockbuster
Charles Schwab buys rival TD Ameritrade in an approximately $26 billion all-stock deal, a blockbuster deal accelerated by disruption in the online brokerage industry
6:58AM ( 2 hours ago )
Pro-democracy camp wins Hong Kong elections in landslide
Hong Kong’s pro-democracy opposition has won a landslide victory in weekend local elections in a clear rebuke to city leader Carrie Lam over her handling of violent protests that have divided the Chinese territory
6:55AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
Pope in Japan meets victims, voices concern over nuke power
Pope Francis has voiced concern about nuclear power after meeting with victims of Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster, saying the development of future energy sources must take environmental considerations into account
5:21AM ( 4 hours ago )
Uber loses license to operate in London over safety issues
London’s transit operator says it is not renewing Uber’s license to operate in the British capital
5:07AM ( 4 hours ago )
China sets tougher guidelines to protect patents, copyrights
China’s leaders have issued new, tougher guidelines for protection of patents, copyrights and other intellectual property
4:18AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Business
Sarah Sanders eyes possible run for governor of Arkansas
Back home in Arkansas, former Trump spokeswoman Sarah Sanders lays groundwork for a possible run for governor in 2022
7:58PM ( 13 hours ago )
Web inventor has an ambitious plan to take back the net
The inventor of the World Wide Web Lee has released an ambitious rule book for online governance _ a bill of rights and obligations for the internet
6:04PM ( 15 hours ago )
‘Frozen 2’ heats up box office with $127M opening weekend
Six years after “Frozen” kicked up a pop-culture blizzard, the sequel to Elsa, Anna and Olaf’s adventures snowed-in the box office with an estimated $127 million debut domestically and $350 million worldwide
12:11PM ( 21 hours ago )
AP Business - Corporate News
Failing ice cellars signal changes in Alaska whaling towns
Add ice cellars to the list of environmental victims in Alaska’s Native whaling villages
9:22AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Mother of slain man sues Cleveland mayor, police chief
A woman who says her son was killed by gang members connected to an Ohio mayor’s grandson has filed a wrongful death lawsuit saying the mayor and a police chief interfered in the slaying’s investigation
1:21AM ( 8 hours ago )
Jackpot! Lottery tickets on sale for 1st time in Mississippi
Mississippi residents don’t have to leave the state to buy lottery tickets anymore
1:08AM ( 8 hours ago )
Feds: Give Chinese woman prison for Mar-a-Lago trespass
A Chinese businesswoman could be headed to prison for trespassing at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and lying to federal agents
1:04AM ( 8 hours ago )
Alaska Native ice cellars failing amid environmental changes
Add ice cellars to the list of environmental victims in Alaska’s Native whaling villages
1:03AM ( 8 hours ago )