Turkey Survey Shows 16% Contain Dangerous Bacteria
WebMD News Archive
DeWaal was critical of turkey processors for not publicly sharing data on
the progress of their hazard analysis program to improve food safety, when
other meat producers have already done so. The hangup, says DeWaal, is USDA's
failure to develop a "performance standard" for testing turkeys.
Sherrie Rosenblatt of the National Turkey Federation tells WebMD that the
industry has been working with the government to develop a new industry-wide
standard that will make product safety more than just a "marketing
Meanwhile, there are steps consumers can take to protect themselves from
fowl gone foul. "The bottom line is consumers should treat every turkey
like it's potentially contaminated ... because we know those hazards are in the
flocks. We know that it's in the slaughter plants, and they could be coming
home on your Thanksgiving turkey," says DeWaal.
Arthur Frank, MD, who heads the diet and weight loss program at George
Washington University Medical Center in Washington, tells WebMD that preventing
turkey-related infections is really a 'kitchen management' issue. He says to
keep in mind that utensils that touch the bird should be washed before they're
used for other food to protect against cross-contamination.
Other tips from CSPI include: carve out a big enough place in your
refrigerator so the turkey won't contaminate nearby food. If you thaw your
turkey in a microwave, cook it as soon as it's ready. Finally, use a meat
thermometer, which takes the guesswork out of food safety.