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Tricky bacteria and meat questions...

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone, I have some really basic questions that's been bugging me! :D

1)
Let's say you have raw meat that's tainted with harmful bacteria...

How come cooking it and killing the harmful bacteria does not make the meat safe to eat?

Is the meat itself damaged from the bacteria or what? :look:

2)
I know freezing meat does not kill bacteria but lets say hypothetically you freeze it for a hundred years and then you thaw it...can bacteria can still come back to life after being in a frozen state of a hundred years?

If yes...then that's some science fiction! :)


3)
I have all of my raw meats in the freezer. Before I cook, I always thaw them on the counter for an hour or so. Does this constant thawing, freezing, thawing process damage the meat?

What's the best method of thawing? Microwave?


Thanks! :bounce:
post #2 of 16
If you have some infected meat, I'm guessing the only sure way to get rid of the bacteria would be to take it to a local hospital with an autoclave. Putting the meat under high pressure, high temp steam for a while should do the trick. Of course, you probably wouldn't want to actually eat the results, but the bacteria would be dead!

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post #3 of 16
EEEEWWWW your thawing and refreezing your meat ,thats the quickest way to make who ever your cooking for really sick or even DEAD
the bactaria lies dormant whilst its frozen but with thawing it it activates it awake, in the time that it has taken to thaw then to refreeze the bacteria has got biblical and gone forth and multiplied big time , it multiplies in the millions every 20 minutes and it has an exponential growth in that what started of as 20 mill then 40 mill then 80 mill and so on and so forth. It takes longer time to refreeze than it does to thaw and it will get to the point where nothing you do to it will kill the bacteria.

In a perfect world you should take the meat out a day or two before and defrost it in the fridge on a plate or a sealed container
away from cooked foods if you cant do that then place the meat in a big bowl of cold water and defrost it quickly
NEVER NEVER NEVER THAW AND REFREEZE.
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post #4 of 16
While cooking meat to a certain temperature will kill any bacteria that exist, some bacteria produce harmful toxins that are not destroyed by heat. However, unless you have no sense of smell, you will probably not be tempted to cook, much less eat, meat that has gone that far south.

Properly handled meat should still be a concern for everyone. As far as I know, thawing in the refrigerator is still the recommended method, and on the countertop at room temp is the least advised. Microwave thawing is certainly affective, but you do have to be careful not to cook the meat prematurely. Some meats, seafoods in particular, can be thawed in cold water. As noted by Tessa, be sure the meat is properly contained to prevent cross contamination from the meat to other foods.

You may refreeze meat that has partially thawed, but still has ice crystals in the center. However, there will be a noticeable loss of quality. Once fully thawed, even though still cold, the meat should be cooked as soon as possible.
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post #5 of 16
have all of my raw meats in the freezer. Before I cook, I always thaw them on the counter for an hour or so. Does this constant thawing, freezing, thawing process damage the meat?????????????????????????????????? DENT

If I were an inspector from either FDA or local health Dept, I would close you up. You are simply asking for trouble.
Thaw in refrigerator is the best way. Under water the second best. I do not like the micro method as it infuses to much heat.
There is bad meat and bad meat.
Example take your arm, the inside is sterile the outside subject to any type of bacteria in the air or on another source, therefore in most cases you are ok. Now assuming you stick a knife into your arm, you have OPENED AN AREA for bacteria to enter , fester and muliply. IT CAN NOW CONTAMINATE your whole immune system. Same with meat, if outside of a solid peice of meat gets discolored or slimmy it can be rectified, however once meat is chopped or penetrated, thats it.
Freezing kills SOME bacteria, mostly in fish. Heating kills some but you are still playing with trouble. NOTHING KILLS ALL after a certain point .Things that you do, as you describe have reached that point.
As far as your hundred year question, I have never frozen meat that long ,but in a hundred years what started as 10 pounds will now weigh in at 2 pounds as freezing dehydrates. After thawing I have found meat will go bad faster because it has been subject to such temperature variations. Dont know if you ever had food related sickness? but it is not pleasant, you want to die.
There are certain conditions that you can refreeze, if the product still contains ice crystals it may be able to refreeze, but DON"T you do it> Your freezer is not industrial type or quick freezeand is to slow.
When thawing make sure product it totaly submerged as you do not want air exposure.
If I were you I would stop experimenting and use prescribed methods so you dont make yourself sick or anyone else. Also I will bet that when you thaw meat on your counter, you are cross contaminating other products, because after you thaw yor wipeing down not useing hypochloride solution. REMIND ME never eat at your place> :eek::eek:
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post #6 of 16
This was probably already mentioned but whole cuts of red meat are sterile on the inside when fresh as bacteria starts at the surface and works its way inward as the meat breaks down, however by the time the bacteria gets to the inside it is simply rotten beef and it will be obvious by smell and appearance. Pork is especially problematic as the inside of the meat harbor all kinds of worms and parasites that can be harmful. Chicken of course has Salmonella inside that needs to be killed.

So Beef is quite safe as long as the outside is cooked to a safe temperature to kill all the surface bacteria, however when beef is ground up this bacteria is mixed in so now the internal temperature is important.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the great responses. Don't worry, I'm a college student so I'm only cooking for myself ;) I'm just getting into cooking, hence my noob-ness

I now understand some of the basics of bacteria/meat. Now I know why steak can be rare and beef cooks so fast.

So...red meat can be rare...white meat has to be cooked ALL the way, correct?


And the reason I thaw the entire package of meat only if I just want 2 slices of that package is because it's impossible to separate the slices of meat when it's frozen. It's just stuck together!

Is there a remedy for this? Just thaw it in the fridge and immediately separate the slices that I need?
post #8 of 16
And the reason I thaw the entire package of meat only if I just want 2 slices of that package is because it's impossible to separate the slices of meat when it's frozen. It's just stuck together!

Is there a remedy for this? Just thaw it in the fridge and immediately separate the slices that I need?

When you buy the meat seperate it into smaller packs then freeze.
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post #9 of 16
Yes.

Red meat can be eaten raw as long as the surface is trimmed away or properly treated.

Lay a piece of raw pork on the counter for a few days and you might see worms crawling out from the inside, this is one of the main reasons that cretin ancient religions outlawed pork and tagged it as un-clean.
post #10 of 16
Where do you buy your meat? Does it come frozen (a'la Walmart's "meat" department) or do you buy it from a grocer or butcher? You *NEVER* want to freeze meat in those little styrofoam trays from the store. There is too much air in the package, the pads in the bottom of the tray get frozen to the meat and are gross, there is usually too much meat for a single use, and the thin plastic will tear and allow freezer burn and bad odors.

I know you're a college student, so you're probably not overflowing with cash, but if you can find one, invest in a Foodsaver or other vacuum-sealer product. That way BEFORE you freeze your meat, you can separate it into single-serving sizes, and even put it in a marinade if you're feeling inspired. We do this a lot at home with chicken breasts and pork chops - take them out of the freezer the night before you're ready to eat them, place them in the bottom of the refrigerator in a sealed container, and by dinnertime they're ready to go. The vacuum sealer keeps meats fresher because there isn't air circulating around, drying the meat, and causing freezer burn.

If you can't afford a vacuum sealer, the next best thing is zipper freezer bags... squeeze out as much air as possible, zip it *almost* all the way shut, squeeze again, and zip the rest of the way.

Good luck and happy cooking!
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post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Actually, that was exactly where I bought my pork and steak slices from. And I put them right into the freezer in the styrofoam trays...

I guess I should take them out and put them in individual bags. Sounds like a good idea
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
The videos online of the coke and pork are all fake as verified by snopes.com
YouTube - Pork and Coke ( SHOCKING! )

And yeah, there are microscopic worms in pork though
post #13 of 16
Actually, there are worms in fresh fish that are still squiggling. I've seen butchers hold up a piece of fresh fish, and a little white worm wiggles up like a prairie dog sticking its head out of a hole.

I've seen threads discussing this in the past, and apparently, as I recall, the worms are safe to cook and eat. I doubt this type of fish would be considered "sushi" grade! :)

I've bought whole cryovaced beef tenderloins that were thawed (but originally frozen) by the store or distributor. I've never had a problem with thawing them if they were still frozen, or cutting them up after the store (or I) thawed them out in the refrigerator (or however the store does it).

I cut them to size and vacuum seal them with my Foodsaver. We've never in 30+ years had a problem thawing out the individual filets and cooking them.

Maybe we're just immune, but methinks I remember Joy of Cooking or some cook book or other, recommending leaving meat sit out to reach room temperature before cooking it to bring out its flavor.

I do this too, and still have had no problems.

doc
post #14 of 16
I dont think Tape Worms are microscopic. read the Wiki article on Pork and food saftey.
post #15 of 16
Actually, there are worms in fresh fish that are still squiggling. I've seen butchers hold up a piece of fresh fish, and a little white worm wiggles up like a prairie dog sticking its head out of a hole. (DELTADOC)

DOC. I have had loads of fish with worms, and in my knife tool box keep a pair of needle nose pliers to extract them. They come out by themselves when placed under a hot broiler., or lemon juice poured on them.
Most worms I find are in Sword, Cod, and Hog fish. They are harmless when cooked. You will find more worms in fish from warmer waters then in cold. In Florida we have' mucho'
The cruise ship industry is not allowed to have fresh fish on board anymore. the fish must be frozen at least 72 hours in order to kill most parisites in the fish, the cooking will mostly kill all of the others. Bon Appetite
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post #16 of 16
Just some quotes from the USDA's website. USDA; Focus On Freezing



dan
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