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Old 04-07-2004, 01:45 AM   #1
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Question PLEASE HELP! What are my chances of getting salmonella/food poisoning from this!!?

My boyfriend and I were cooking this awesome Oriental salad tonight. I used this large knife to chop up slices of raw chicken and placed it in the sink. My boyfriend picked it up out of the sink and started chopping scallions. I quickly threw the scallions he chopped away and told him he had to wash the knife. He gave me a look like, "yeah, like it matters" and walked to the sink. I washed him get soap all over the knife, but he only rinsed it LITERALLY for about 2 seconds, not even enough time to remove all of the soap, and started chopping again. I let it go. I felt bad because this was his first time cooking with me, and he was really enjoying himself. He also used the same knife to mix the salad later on. The chicken was boneless, skinless chicken and was VERY fresh, but I know there is still a chance that my boyfriend and I are going to get sick now. I know the government can tell you an approximate probability from getting salmonella from eggs, but can anyone tell me what my APPROXIMATE chances are of getting sick from this?? First of all, I have a major fear of puking, and second of all, I'm always sick as it is and I shouldn't have eaten that stupid salad no matter if I thought it would hurt my boyfriend's feelings or not!!!
~Katalina
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Old 04-07-2004, 06:21 AM   #2
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Re: PLEASE HELP! What are my chances of getting salmonella/food poisoning from this!!?

Hello, You'll know in about 24 hours. If nothing happens after 24 hours, you got lucky and don't have food poisoning.
(That means no diahrea or stomach cramps.) What about the chopping board or surface you were cutting the stuff on? If the raw chicken was on it and you clean the knife, but not the chopping surface, it was kind of pointless to worry about the knife. The best plan of attack when preparing food to be cooked is to cut up the vegies first, then the meats or fish. At our house we even have separate knives for meats and vegies. I'm planning to eventually get separate cutting boards too. I also sprinkle salt on the knife and chopping board after I'm done, before I wash them. (I guess I'm a little over protective, but I just feel comfortable knowing those nasty little germs are as dead as I can get them.)
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Old 04-07-2004, 09:17 AM   #3
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Re: PLEASE HELP! What are my chances of getting salmonella/food poisoning from this!!?

Katalina,

Chances of getting sick from your scenario are very slim. My guess from what you described...less than 0.1%.
If chicken and eggs were as conttaminated as some people think, we'd be sick as dogs many days a year.

Personally, I've gotten food poisoning more often from salad ingredients than from meats and NEVER from eggs which I eat raw frequently. Remember also that to kill salmonella in eggs, one needs to hard boil for 15 minutes. This means that any infected egg will remain infective with virtually ANY common method of breakfast preparation and certainly with any merengue product.

A product to BEWARE is the infamous SALAD BAR. Many hands, often unwashed have gone into preparing this melange which is allowed to lay out for a long time, sometimes with mayonnaise mixes with lots of customers fiddling with it. More scary than salmonella is Hepatitis and a variety of intestinal parasites.

 
Old 04-07-2004, 04:37 PM   #4
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Re: PLEASE HELP! What are my chances of getting salmonella/food poisoning from this!!?

MagpieZoe,
The veggies and meat actually weren't cut on cutting boards at all, but on two seperate plates, thank god Next time, I'll definitely start with cutting the veggies first. I didn't know about the salt thing. What does the salt do?
~Katalina
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Old 04-07-2004, 04:38 PM   #5
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Re: PLEASE HELP! What are my chances of getting salmonella/food poisoning from this!!?

Zip2Play,
Whew! You eased my mind quite a bit, thank you so much
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Old 04-07-2004, 08:49 PM   #6
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Re: PLEASE HELP! What are my chances of getting salmonella/food poisoning from this!!?

Salmonella and most food toxins take some time to develop. Not cleaning a knife, board or the food itself is a risk if the implements or food then sit out at or near room temp for a while. But there is no "instant" creation of food toxins. These are secreted (in the rare cases when it happens) by microbes who must multiply more or less unmolested for a while. This is why salad bars, inadequately chilled deli cases, or any place that sits the food out for hours are risks.

Washing implements is a good practice, or rinsing them well, and rinsing food always makes sense, but if food is prepared just before cooking, or chilled right after prep for later cooking, the already low chances of food poisoning shrink further. More or less to zero--we almost never hear of food poisonings in homes, although it is not impossible.

sean

 
Old 04-08-2004, 06:22 AM   #7
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Re: Statistics on food poisoning.

Hello, Sean is right about the salad bar, but raw meats and fish are not so innocent either. The main problems with the salad bars is not that the food isn't washed it's that not all employees handling the food wash their hands after they've gone to the bathroom and that the food isn't always kept at the proper temperatures so the egg containing mayo goes rancid and the hot food gets cold. The hepititis out break in PA was from the raw onions imported from Mexico and the lack of hand washing. Here is a copy of some stats on food borne illnesses that is passed out to nurses by the FDA, including salminella and listeria. Just because you don't get sick, doesn't mean you shouldn't play it safe. I got sick from an out of day can of tuna once, and it wasn't fun. The salt thing, I'm not sure about it being true. It's just something my family has always done to kill bacteria. We always soaked out chickens in salt water to draw out the blood. For all I know, it might have something to do with my Jewish heritage. Anyhow, here's the article to chew on....
"FDA News
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2004
Media Inquiries: 301-436-2335
Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA



Physicians, Nurses and U.S. Government Release New Foodborne Illness Guide
Educational Primer Aimed at Physicians and Nurses; Consumer Guidelines “4 Simple Steps to Food Safety” Included
WASHINGTON , D.C. -- Americans' vulnerability to foodborne illness has been highlighted by large outbreaks over the last two years. To increase awareness, a new educational guide for health care professionals on how to identify and treat foodborne illnesses, as well as consumer tips for patients, was released today at a news conference in the nation's capital.

"Approximately 76 million Americans suffer from a foodborne illness every year, and 5,000 deaths each year are attributed to foodborne illness," said Cecil B. Wilson, M.D., American Medical Association Trustee."Health care professionals are the front-line of prevention. Arming physicians with the latest information on foodborne illnesses helps them better diagnose and treat their patients."

The easy to read primer,"Diagnosis and Management of Foodborne Illnesses: A Primer for Physicians and Other Health Care Professionals" contains charts, scenarios and a continuing medical education section and is free to health care professionals. The primer, initially introduced in 2001, contains five new sections on new and re-emerging foodborne illnesses and was written with an emphasis on living in the post 9-11 environment.

"Recent concerns about hepatitis A and norovirus outbreaks have emphasized the need for health professionals to be vigilant for foodborne pathogens, and this need is further emphasized by concerns about intentional contamination of food," said David Acheson, M.D., Director of the Office of Food Safety at FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

"The new primer will assist physicians and other health care professionals to be aware of what to look for in relation to foodborne disease, whether accidental or deliberate."

More than 75 percent of foodborne illness deaths are caused by just three pathogens: salmonella, listeria and toxoplasma. Information on both salmonella and toxoplasma has been added to the new primer, and the listeria section has been updated. Other new sections are: hepatitis A, norovirus and unexplained illness.

"By diagnosing cases of foodborne illness quickly and accurately, the health care community can help prevent the spread of illnesses associated with pathogens such as salmonella," said USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service Acting Administrator Barbara Masters, D.V.M."In addition to arming physicians with vital information, the new primer also gives doctors a way to help their patients protect themselves and their loved ones from foodborne illnesses."

Greater understanding of foodborne illnesses by nurses, and other front line health care providers, is also important to early detection.

"The release of this educational primer is likely to change the way that nurses conduct assessments of their patients," said Pamela C. Hagan, MSN, RN, Chief Programs Officer, American Nurses Association."It will help educate nurses that common symptoms may be the first signs of foodborne illness, and it will reinforce the importance of identifying and reporting these illnesses early."

Reporting cases of foodborne illness are just as important as identifying and treating the illness. Currently, foodborne illnesses are underreported in the United States by both patients and health care professionals.

"Our systems to identify foodborne illness rely on the clinicians and state health officials who report clusters of unusual illness," said Art Liang, M.D., Director of CDC's Food Safety Office."Foodborne disease remains a substantial public health concern, and with diligent reporting, we can rapidly identify the source of an outbreak and prevent additional people from getting sick. We may even prevent children or immune-compromised people from contracting serious infections from contaminated foods and dying."

The primer was created though a partnership of the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Nurses Association (ANA) - American Nurses Foundation (ANF) in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Food Safety Office, the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Health care professionals can request a free copy of the primer by visiting the AMA Web site at [url]www.ama-assn.org/go/foodborne[/url]. The consumer tips to food safety are also available at this site."

From the FDA's hompage.
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Old 04-08-2004, 06:26 AM   #8
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Re: Free Government pamphlet on food safety.

Hello, Here is a copy of the free food safety phamplet that the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Admin.) has too offer to the public.

"BE SMART. KEEP FOODS APART.
Don't Cross-Contaminate.
Cross-contamination is the transfer of harmful bacteria to food from other foods, cutting boards, utensils, etc., if they are not handled properly. This is especially true when handling raw meat, poultry, and seafood, so keep these these foods and their juices away from already cooked or ready-to-eat foods and fresh produce. When handling foods, it is important to Be Smart, Keep Foods Apart—Don't Cross-Contaminate. By following these simple steps, you can prevent cross-contamination and reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

When Shopping:
Separate raw meat, poultry, and seafood from other foods in your grocery-shopping cart. Place these foods in plastic bags to prevent their juices from dripping onto other foods. It is also best to separate these foods from other foods at check out and in your grocery bags.

When Refrigerating Food:
Place raw meat, poultry, and seafood in containers or sealed plastic bags to prevent their juices from dripping onto other foods. Raw juices often contain harmful bacteria.
Store eggs in their original carton and refrigerate as soon as possible.
When Preparing Food:
Wash hands and surfaces often. Harmful bacteria can spread throughout the kitchen and get onto cutting boards, utensils, and counter tops. To prevent this:

Wash hands with soap and hot water before and after handling food, and after using the bathroom, changing diapers; or handling pets.
Use hot, soapy water and paper towels or clean cloths to wipe up kitchen surfaces or spills. Wash cloths often in the hot cycle of your washing machine.
Wash cutting boards, dishes, and counter tops with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item and before you go on to the next item.
A solution of 1 teaspoon of bleach in 1 quart of water may be used to sanitize surfaces and utensils.
Cutting Boards:
Always use a clean cutting board.
If possible, use one cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
Once cutting boards become excessively worn or develop hard-to-clean grooves, you should replace them.
Marinating Food:
Always marinate food in the refrigerator, not on the counter.
Sauce that is used to marinate raw meat, poultry, or seafood should not be used on cooked foods, unless it is boiled just before using.
When Serving Food:
Always use a clean plate.
Never place cooked food back on the same plate or cutting board that previously held raw food.
When Storing Leftovers:
Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within 2 hours or sooner in clean, shallow, covered containers to prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying.
For More Information, contact:
USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline: 1 (800) 535-4555
Washington DC: 1 (202) 720-3333
TTY: 1 (800) 256-7072

FSIS Web site: [url]http://www.fsis.usda.gov/[/url]

U.S. FDA Food Information Line: 1 (888) SAFE FOOD

FDA Web site: [url]http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/[/url]


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SM International Food Safety Council

* Distributed May 2002 for use in September 2002 as part of the International Food Safety Council's National Food Safety Education Month."
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Old 04-10-2004, 03:33 PM   #9
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Re: PLEASE HELP! What are my chances of getting salmonella/food poisoning from this!!?

Magpiezoe,
That was SUCH wonderful information! Thank you! It's been past 72 hours so I'm thinking that I'm probably safe, since I feel great. Approximately 76 million Americans suffer from a foodborne illness every year, and 5,000 deaths each year are attributed to foodborne illness??! Wow. NEVER AGAIN and I EVER going to just "give in" and eat food that I KNOW was prepared incorrectly. Also, when it's just me in the kitchen, I'm usually very sanitary, but I do not disinfect everything with bleach and water. I put it all directly in the sink and then into the dishwasher, and then sanitize the sink. I also NEVER cut veggies and meats on the same cutting board, and I don't clean the knives I use, I just throw the used one in the sink and grab a different knife. Food poisoning is very scary. My neighbor had food poisoning for almost a MONTH, and never completely recovered. I guess it's also time for a major food safety lesson for my boyfriend, too. I think I'll show him this thread. Especially what you posted. It's incredibly informative, I really, really appreciate it!
~Katalina
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