It’s time to think about ham and Easter eggs once again:
By the use of the words, “Killing You” I am probably exaggerating and for that I apologize. But food safety is extremely important and now that the Easter Holiday is fast approaching I want to discuss some of the things you can do around your own house to prevent an accidental exposure to some nasty little things that could make you or your loved ones sick — and some of these pathogenic things are downright dangerous!
You have to give me an “A” for being concerned about you and your loved ones, don’t you? Some of these things I will be talking about here are obvious and well-known to most people and some might be more subtle and sometimes overlooked or inadvertently ignored.
Let’s talk about the ham!
There are all kinds of hams in the supermarkets these days. Some are wrapped neatly in the freezer sections of the meat departments and some are tucked away securely in cans. One of the main things I want to warn my wonderful Readers about (That is you … you are among my wonderful and highly-treasured readers) — One thing I want to caution you about is making sure that the ham you purchase is either ready to serve and is labeled as such or not ready to serve and has a label that tells you it needs to be cooked before being served.
It is just too easy these days to casually pick up a ham at the store, look at the price and forget to make sure whether it is ready to eat or if it needs cooking and there is no way on Earth that I am ever going to approve of anybody eating even the slightest little bit of uncooked pork of any kind. Uncooked pork has all kinds of nasty potentials including the nasty potentials associated with the dread disease, Trichinosis.
Trichinosis is not something you want to get exposed to and it is definitely something you do not want your loved ones to encounter. It is a parasitic disease caused by worms and can cause havoc with the intestinal system resulting in all kinds of miserable symptoms such as diarrhea, severe abdominal pain and terrible bouts of vomiting.
Worse, Trichinosis can cause the face to swell up like a balloon, cause a horrible rash all over the skin and cause muscle cramps that induce screaming in some sensitive souls.
It can also get into the heart, the lungs and cause terrors for the central nervous system.
And it can be gotten from eating improperly cooked, undercooked or not at all cooked pork products — like ham, for instance …. like “Easter Ham” for instance.
Check those labels and if you are not sure … ask the person in charge of the meat department whether your ham is ready to eat or if it needs to be cooked… and also ask, “What temperature does it need to be cooked to?”
The measure I use at our house is —- If the ham is precooked and I know for sure that it is precooked — such as the kind that comes in cans, I feel good and safe by reheating it to a temperature of 140-degrees Fahrenheit on the meat thermometer.
If the ham has not been cooked at all then I never ever serve it until it has reached at least 165-degrees Fahrenheit (Internal temp measured with a meat thermometer.).
Here is what the FDA suggests:
Cooking or Reheating Hams
Both whole or half, cooked, vacuum-packaged hams packaged in federally inspected plants and canned hams can be eaten cold, right out of the package.
However, if you want to reheat these cooked hams, set the oven no lower than 325 °F and heat to an internal temperature of 140 °F as measured with a food thermometer.
Unpackaged, cooked ham is potentially contaminated with pathogens. For cooked hams that have been repackaged in any other location outside the processing plant or for leftover cooked ham, heat to 165 °F.
More information from the FDA — ( RIGHT ABOUT HERE.)
“But I’ve never had a problem,” you intone confidently.
My response to that is, “With all the different places we are getting our food from around the world these days, we can never be too cautious about how we prepare what we put into our mouths.”
You might have gone for years without a problem but this might be the year that some little detail might get overlooked and then …. Katy bar The Door!
LET’S TALK ABOUT SAFE EASTER EGGS NOW:
One thing I would like to point out is that harmful bacteria can and will penetrate egg shells if care is not taken in handling and preparing them. People don’t often think about this handling hazard.
However … be not dismayed because the Kraft Food Company has put up a few suggestions about safely handling and preparing colorful Easter Eggs and I am sharing the link to their suggestions — ( RIGHT HERE FOLKS.).
Did I remember to tell you that I am not being compensated in any fashion for mentioning the Kraft Foods brand here? Well, I’m not! I am just throwing their suggestions into the mix here because I read them and I think they are helpful and so I want to share them with you, my wonderful Reading Audience …. My wonderful Reading Audience whom I treasure and value very highly — Yes, You!
Now as a final touch … so that I can present to you something by way of added value in these blog posts here on “Musings Of An Imaginary Billionaire” … here is a link to a whole lot of stuff from The U.S. Government about food safety during the holiday seasons:
Golly Gee, Folks — I hope I have covered almost everything. If I have left something out please remind me by leaving me a comment here on the blog and I will be most grateful to you for doing it.
Picture Credit: The photo at the head of this article needs to be attributed to the author and the source so here goes: The picture is from Wikimedia Commons and the name of the author and the source can be found on this page — ( RIGHT HERE.)