Yesterday, we brought you word of a Consumer Reports study that found traces of bacteria in numerous samples of ground turkey. Of the 257 samples analyzed, over 90% were shown to be positive for one of the five bacteria researchers tested for. What’s more, it was discovered that numerous types of ground turkey had bacteria that proved to be resistant to antibiotics.
Because of this, the Los Angeles Times has released a new report that details the steps a consumer can take to protect themselves from the threat of foodborne illness associated with turkey or other types of meat.
It starts with proper storage. Meats should be adequately wrapped so as to prevent the leakage of juices that could contaminate nearby foods. Meat can also be kept separate from ready-to-eat foods in order to further cut down on the cross-contamination threat. You should refrigerate meat shortly after purchase at a grocer, although if you’re going to wait a couple days to prepare the food, it should be frozen.
When you handle meat, make sure you wash your hands both before and after contact. And to further mitigate the chance that bacteria will survive the cooking process, make sure the meat is brought to 165 degrees all the way through. This is particularly important for ground meat, as the bacteria on the surface of a hunk of meat can get pushed down when ground up, essentially spreading to other sections.