I have a question in my risk assessment text book, on the ways a cooked turkey can still pose a danger to the public. It would be assumed that through the cooking process that all dangers would be reduced. However, there still are risks. I imagine there is the possibility of cross contamination. Cooked turkey placed in the same vicinity as the thawing area. Or if a knife was used in the thawing process then used to cooked the cut turkey. I am hoping you could lend me your professional input on other possible areas of risk.. and why they would be of risk. I thank you for your time and effort.
I need help in identifying areas of risk that may cause people to get sick. Specifically- micorbiological areas that may get people sick. I am looking for unique aspects that some people may forget to think about.
Some of the reasons that letting the turkey thaw on the counter may not be accepted is one, because other areas may become contaminated at this stage. This meaning that cross contamination can occur such as, if a turkey is left on the counter it is more likely that the Salmonella contamination will spread because the turkey may touch a plate or the counter and the juices from thawing will leak, and leave Salmonella behind in areas other than on the turkey
Certain types of bacteria will colonize on the outside of the turkey, and the problem is that it is not always Salmonella, heat sensitive bacteria, but other types that require very high temperatures to eliminate them or other special treatments. For example, the genus Staphylococcus, another major cause of food poisoning, found commonly in the nasal membranes and skins of humans will colonize the outside skin of the turkey, from the person that was preparing the turkey, and the inside as a result of defrosting on the counter. This is due to the fact that the turkey defrosts quickly on the outside before defrosting on the inside, providing a warm environment for the bacteria to grow and spread and not allowing the turkey to defrost quickly and stay in the safe temperature zone.
I hope I can come up with some ways for you. If these don't work, email Brainmass and ask me for more clarification.
I believe that there will be 3 general categories of risk. The first deals with cross-contamination (as you already stated) and the second deals with improper handling of the turkey itself, and the third is inherent problems with the turkey meat.
Possible sources of cross-contamination:
Food handlers - most commonly spread E coli from fecal matter on ...