After watching Frontline’s show on the meat industry last night, I realized I have some conflicting information about Salmonella. My mother once had Salmonella poisoning, and was flat on her back in bed for two weeks. There’s also been many cases of small children dying of it. On the other hand, I once talked to a chef about salmonella and things like rare meat, raw eggs, etc. He said that his studies indicate that just about 100% of the eggs and chicken in this country have salmonella, and most healthy adults already have enough salmonella in their guts to have built up enough of an immune system that it’s really not a problem. Of course, for young children, older people, and people with unhealthy immune systems, eggs should be cooked thoroughly and meat should be charred through.

One key issue in last night’s Frontline was that a small meat packing company had recently won a lawsuit where the supreme court had ruled that the fact that salmonella was present in 50% of this company’s raw hamburger did not pose a safety risk to people, as if the hamburger was cooked properly (meaning, charred through) the salmonella was not a risk.

As I have taste buds, this trend upsets me. Already many of the ‘box’ restaurants refuse to cook hamburgers anything rarer than medium. Some places won’t cook eggs with runny yolks. My gut feeling is that we, as a country, should not accept the meat industry’s attitude that Salmonella is no big deal - just char the #!!@ out of the food! Who cares how it tastes?!? On the other hand, if most adults have built up a tolerance, is it really an issue?

Any one have any facts about this?

Salmonella is dangerous because the baceria’s waste is a toxin. As such, it is more or less the number of Salmonella that are around when you ingest it.

You should always try to keep cooking/preparing surfaces clean. But Salmonella is probably all over the place. The meat industry isn’t lying, people ingest salmonella all the time and only feel, if anything at all, slight indigestion or similar symptoms. A little queasiness, maybe.

And properly cooked food will pretty much save you 100% of the time. You should ALWAYS cook ground meat to the point where the blood is no longer, well, bloody. I believe the temperature that must be reached is 180F, but maybe it is 150-something. Been some time since I was in the food service industry.

The reason ground meat is an issue is because of the surface area exposed to salmonella. (I don’t say “potentially” on purpose :)) Things like whole steaks aren’t really the same issue since the exposed portion of meat is, when properly prepared, cooked properly anyway, even on medium-rare steaks.

Salmonella is no joke, but it isn’t an epidemic.

That should get you started, too. :slight_smile: The temperature is 160F (I knew 180 was too high and 150 was too low but damn, I just couldn’t remember… McDonalds forgive me!! It has been over six years since I had to mess with that knowledge).

Food Safety Report Ignites Angry Debate
It wasn’t the Supreme Court, it was a ruling of the 5th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Supreme Beef Processors Inc. of Dallas.

If I ever ger a pet salmon, I want to name her Ella. Unless it’s a male, in which case I’ll name him Rushdie.

The last name for mine will Enchanted Evening.

The bug is a bummer, half of my Marine Corps Officers Candidate School company had it from bad turkey at the chow hall, your truly included.