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Feb 28, 2010 08:10 PM

Cross Contamination? I think it's a myth

HI there,

I've heard about the dangers and intensive consequence if a restaurant doesn't follow cleanliness procedures. One of which could also be produced at home.. cross contamination. Raw meat & Veg = poison. I think it's bullsh*t, I'll tell you why and please educate me to better understand the term....

strict rules about not mixing chopping boards, knives without washed properly.. discard the "all purpose" cloth on the kitchen counter, wash ure hands etc...

okay, well, then how bout dim sum? spring rolls? krokets? oven items?

Sping rolls have been around for so many decades, it's one of the most popular asian items now. do you know how to make spring rolls? well, sometimes how we do it is that we shred some carrots, green onions or whatever, mixed with spices and ground meat. then we roll it up, deep fry it. Shouldn't there have been food contaminated? We all have eaten it and there's no problem.

Dim sum.. umm those shrimp/meat wrapped stuff? it's the same idea, raw meat + green onions (commonly used in asian dishes) n then steamed. we're all okay

krokets, mashed potato, raw meat, parsley or whatever, same idea

ovenned stuff.. raw chicken, with rosemary stuffed underneath the skin. or parsley. or onions. whatever.

I think food contamination from raw meat and veggie having contact is a myth.

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  1. Doesn't matter if the whole thing is then cooked.

    1. The problem is when, for example, a cutting board is used to cut up raw chicken (which later gets cooked) and then is used to cut up cucumbers for a salad, without washing in between,. The cucumber is contaminated with raw chicken, and possibly salmonella, and is served raw. That could make you sick. If you then stir fried it together and got all teh food hot, it wouldn't be a problem.

      1. as jaykayen said, the items to which you referred - spring rolls, croquettes, etc. - are all *cooked* so assuming they're taken to a temperature sufficient to kill any harmful bacteria, of course they're safe to eat, as is any other preparation of the same meat.

        the concern with cross-contamination has more to do with *uncooked* food. for example, handling raw chicken and then using your hands to handle the vegetables for a RAW salad. or let's say you dripped some liquid from a package of raw chicken on the counter and didn't wipe it up or disinfect it completely. a bit later you wanted a little nosh, so you grabbed an apple from the fruit basket, set it down on the contaminated counter while you got a drink from the fridge, and then snacked away on that apple that was now sporting a nice coating of salmonella (or other nasties) from the chicken juice.

        yes, perhaps the second scenario is a bit far-fetched (or some might even say paranoid), but anyone who has ever suffered from food poisoning will tell you that it's worth a little extra diligence to save yourself - and anyone else you might be feeding - the misery.

        1. Hawtleak,

          Like Jakayen said, if the entire thing is cooked, then it is. What cross contamination really refers to is raw meat mix with foods that is not to be cooked. Milklady has an example. If you are to cut up your raw meat on a cutting board, without cleaning the board, you cut fruits on it and serve the fruits. There is also cross contamination in cooking hamburger too, which is why the right way to do it is to cook a huge batch once and for all before moving to a entire new batch.

          Let's imagine this. You put 5 beef patties and cooked them on a grill with a spatula. Right when you are almost done a friend ask you to put one more on. Ok, now you put a raw meat patty and flip it once with your spatula. Now, your spatula is contaminated with raw meat, you then pick up the rest of the 5 patties with that spatula because they are done, yet the spatula itself has raw meat. See the problem? One way around is to actually cook the spatula.

          Anyway, good luck.

          1. I know what you mean HawtLeak to an extent. I refuse to have 5 or 6 different plastic cutting boards that I only use for specific things. I think the few wooden/bamboo ones that I have can be used for everything. However, I wouldn't really cut up a salad on an unwashed board after I finished cutting up a bunch of chicken...