I’m speaking with Fabio Parasecoli about his new book, Gastronativism: Food, Identity, Politics, at the Museum of the City of New York at a session chaired by Krishnendu Ray at 6:30 pm. Information is here and the ticketing link is here. This is a preview of the museum’s forthcoming exhibit, Food in New York: Bigger Than the Plate (opening September 16) and is co-presented by MOFAD (Museum of Food and Drink).
The latest in meat safety: another form of zapping?
Bacterial contamination of meat is an ongoing problem and everyone wishes for an easy fix—one that does not require meat producers and packers to prevent contamination.
Irradiation works, but raises feasibility and other concerns.
How about electrocution?
Food Production Daily reports that hitting meat with electrical current reduces toxic E. coli O157:H7 on meat surfaces by 2 log units.
The research report says researchers inoculated meat with the bacteria and then applied electrical current. But by inoculation they must mean just on the surface, because they only counted surface bacteria.
Surface bacteria, alas, are not the problem. Searing meat effectively kills surface bacteria. Bacteria in the interior (of hamburger, for example) survive unless the meat is well cooked.
And 2 log units is unlikely to be good enough for bacteria that cause harm at low doses, as this kind does. The FDA requires a 5 log reduction for fresh juices, for example.
I wish researchers would apply their talents to figuring out how to keep toxic bacteria from getting into and onto animals in the first place. Then we wouldn’t have to worry about designing techno-fixes to deal with contaminated meat.