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Consumers Urged to Think Food Safety During Holiday

15 October 2013
Manitoba Pork Council

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CANADA - A food safety professor with the University of Manitoba is encouraging consumers to think food safety when preparing the traditional Thanksgiving meal, writes Bruce Cochrane.

With Thanksgiving on the horizon, families across Canada will be sitting down to their traditional holiday meal this weekend.

Dr Rick Holley, a food safety and food microbiology professor with the University of Manitoba, says as a result of the increased consumption of poultry, the frequency of foodborne illness caused by salmonella or campylobacter increases during the holidays.

Dr Rick Holley-University of Manitoba

When we take a look at illnesses caused by various food commodities what we see is that meat, poultry and fish still cause more than half of the illnesses that are of record that are discovered but when you take a look at subsets and poultry in particular what you see is that more often than in any other food group illnesses leading to death are more frequent.

In the case of poultry what we see is a very close association among these organisms and foodborne illness caused by consumption of products contaminated by them and so this is not a frivolous issue.

It's a serious one and can, to a significant degree, be addressed by proper cooking and certainly handling of raw poultry in the kitchen to ensure that things like vegetables that often are not cooked when they're included in a salad don't come into contact with any of the juices of the poultry that's being prepared for cooking.

That segregation and kitchen hygiene are extremely important in reducing the frequencies of illnesses that come from consumption of chicken or turkey at holiday time.

Dr Holley says the improper cooking and handling of poultry can cause serious illnesses in humans and is a job that must be done in a conscientious fashion.

ThePigSite News Desk

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