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10 dirtiest foods (not in a good way)


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OK, it's not so much the dirtiest food, but the common foods that have the greatest possibility of being or becoming contaminated.

I have issue with the statement that 600,000 people become ill and 300 people die each year from eggs. And is eColi the greatest threat in chicken?

Actually, I have issue with most of the list, since proper handling can greatly reduce any risk of contamination and subsequent illness.

So, there it is. It's a list and concerns that most of us here probably already knew about, with two glaring distinctions. Canteloupe and peaches. I'm pretty sure few of us eGullet regulars have given much thought to those two items. I think they were reaching a bit here, but they are on the list.

Discuss....

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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I don't care how dull your knife is, or how sketchy that outlet in the corner is...chicken is by far the most dangerous thing that one encounters in a kitchen. Did you know that 80% of commercially produced chicken has been bleached?

A chef I worked for washed all our chicken in a mild bleach solution (then rinsed of course) before using...

"Make me some mignardises, &*%$@!" -Mateo

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Pre-packaged tossed salads: They can be one of the biggest sources of food poisoning, because the contents are often contaminated with E. Coli.

Often contaminated? I just heard that bagged salads are actually safer than buying heads of lettuce, because packaged greens are usually washed in chlorinated water.

"I actually advise that you transfer the deli meat to a fresh package, and only store up for a week,"

How about up TO a week. And a WEEK is too long as far as I am concerned. I use deli meats within 2-3 days. Also...be nice if we knew what type of package she recommends. Ziplocks? Foil?

"Eggs could be a really sickening product,"

Never heard the word "sickening" used like that before...it's...well it's sickening!

Oysters: If eaten raw they'll leave you feeling that way.

Say what? :huh:

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I don't care how dull your knife is, or how sketchy that outlet in the corner is...chicken is by far the most dangerous thing that one encounters in a kitchen. Did you know that 80% of commercially produced chicken has been bleached?

A chef I worked for washed all our chicken in a mild bleach solution (then rinsed of course) before using...

Did you know there are such things as food grade lye and hydrochloric acid?

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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The term "food grade" generally implies that the purity level of the product is such that it can be used in food processing. It does not imply (at least not always) that the product SHOULD be used in food. A good example of this is propylene glycol. This chemical is mostly used as an antifreeze. The "food grade" version of this product is often used in closed loop "cold water-often incorrectly called brine) cooling systems in food plants and beverage plants (just about every microbrewery built has this type of system). Occasionally, the product will actually be used IN something. You will note when you read the labels of many soft drinks that they contain small amounts of propylene glycol (it is used to add body to some soft drinks). The term "food grade" generally means that the purity of the product is such that it contains no (or at least a very low level) of contaminants.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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I have issue with the statement that 600,000 people become ill and 300 people die each year from eggs. And is eColi the greatest threat in chicken?

This list reads more like "Top ten food threats that have become news items in the last year or so."

As to the eggs, that number sounds closer to the total the CDC gives out for food poisoning cases from all sources.

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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My SO used to work in a lab that was trying to create a product that would help eliminate salmonella and other poultry microbes during the production process. I recall him saying, that on average, there was one, maybe two salmonella bacteria in an egg. So, its the handling thereof, not the actual egg.

Let that sucker sit, and sure, you will eventually have enough for a dose that will sicken. I forget how many million that is. I do recall him telling me how they determined the minimum dose. They took prisoner "volunteers" and fed em salmonella at varying concentrations..... needless to say this practice is now frowned upon....

And yes, they do bleach most chicken carcasses in a dilute bleach-water bath to help reduce the number of buggie-beasties on the surface.

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I'm surprised rice isn't on there.

I thought that nearly all cases of food poisoning from take out ethnic places were linked to the rice not being reheated properly (Normally by people reheating themselves, nuking the lamb curry in the microwave to 'make it safe' and then 'letting the sauce heat up the rice)

I love animals.

They are delicious.

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I wish they'd have said at least something about raisins or other stuff piled out in the sun to dry. There's usually campesinos walking all over it with rakes and shovels, moving the wet stuff up topside.

Edited by Mabelline (log)
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I believe it's a cinghiale (Sus scrofa), and not a javelina (Pecari tajacu), but I could be wrong.

From the Sons of Norway link:

Lutefisk with a firm texture can be obtained by first sprinkling with coarse salt and allowing to stand several hours. Rinse well in cold running water, and soak in unsalted water. Then cook or bake as desired.

Lutefisk must be served hot on piping hot plates. Accompaniments vary from bacon or pork drippings, white sauce, mustard sauce, or melted butter which seems to remain a favorite. Boiled and steamed potatoes, stewed whole, dry green peas are a must as a vegetable accompaniment. The only other necessary additions are freshly ground pepper, lefse, or flatbread. In some parts of Northern Norway, lutefisk is served with melted goat cheese.

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I wish they'd have said at least something about raisins or other stuff piled out in the sun to dry. There's usually campesinos walking all over it with rakes and shovels, moving the wet stuff up topside.

I have wondered about that as well. I remember seeing some pictures here (or in a link from here) with the trays sitting out in the vineyard. Then I remembered our experience years ago when I was at FDA. There were big shrimp drying operations down in the grassy swamplands. They cooked little bitty shrimp in salty water then spread them out on mesh trays, just right out there in the swamp. You know... birds... critters... maybe we have an E. coli or Salmonella problem here. Well, we never found a thing. We attributed that to the salt. The same thing may be true of raisins because of the high sugar content. It is an osmotic problem for the bugs.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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OK... I just read this thing in detail (not just the bold face). This is really stupid.

Uncooked, these green onions become bacterial breeding grounds

No. They are not breeding grounds. They are carriers. And viruses can't "breed" on vegetables.

"I actually advise that you transfer the deli meat to a fresh package, and only store up for a week,"

WTF does moving it to a fresh package get you? Nada. And a week is too long. Two to three days max if it was sliced on the deli slicer. (Not the prepackaged stuff.)

The researchers say that's unusual, because E. coli is not part of the normal flora, or beneficial bacteria, of the chicken.

Uh... Wrong. E. coli is a companion in the gut of all warm blooded animals, and some cold blooded ones, too. It is used as the indicator bug for fecal contamination, for chrissakes. Almost all of the strains are benign. There are a few that have evolved to become virulent.

I could go on but it would get close to quoting too much.

This kind of drivel masquerading as information is shameful.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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