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Contaminated chicken packaging

(32 Posts)
Bookaboo Mon 27-Feb-17 07:59:48

So we've had a few threads in the past regarding how chicken should be handled in view of increasing evidence that much of the meat we buy harbours potentially antibiotic resistant bacteria.
This story is about how tests have shown that the outside of the packets are also contaminated with whatever bacteria might be on the meat.
For a while I've been getting a small plastic bag from the fruit & veg aisle to use to pick up whatever pack of raw meat I'm buying (then keep it in that bag).
I thought I'd share this with you in case you want to start doing the same 😊

Bookaboo Mon 27-Feb-17 08:00:08

And the link again:

SoupDragon Mon 27-Feb-17 08:00:39

Or you could just wash your hands.

BeyondThePage Mon 27-Feb-17 08:01:40

And 20000000 other people will not have, so when you put your package in the trolley or on the till belt, it will become contaminated anyhow.

RedBugMug Mon 27-Feb-17 08:02:56

I use a separate (canvas) bag for meat. I put it in the wash every now and then.
handwashing will not do if the meat packaging is in contact with food we don't cook.

Bookaboo Mon 27-Feb-17 08:29:30

soupdragon the problem is that I'm not going to be able to wash my hands for a while after being at the shop, and hand washing doesn't stop the package from potentially contaminating everything else it comes into contact with - the trolley, other food items, the inside of my bag etc....

And 20000000 other people will not have
That's why I'm sharing this with fellow mumsnetters beyond, to spread the word 🙂

SoupDragon Mon 27-Feb-17 11:26:54

Sorry, I think you're being ridiculous. You wash your hands, store the meat items in a separate bag just for those products and job done. Anything else is OTT IMO.

BeyondThePage Mon 27-Feb-17 12:30:07

I agree SoupDragon - we keep raw meat separate -

they do say that the increased incidence of tummy upsets is to do with the carrier bag tax - lots of those bags-for-life kept in sweaty car boots in the summer, festering and multiplying a bacteria soup... mmmm yum...

Bookaboo Mon 27-Feb-17 16:52:25

Why is it ridiculous? confused is the fact that even the FSA has highlighted it as an issue ridiculous?
It's a simple and easy step that could protect yourself and others, why not do it?

The increasing prevalence of superbugs makes it even more important that we take whatever steps we can to minimise our exposure.

SoupDragon Mon 27-Feb-17 17:16:50

An FSA spokesman said: "We have never said that the only risk is from packs with >1000cfu/swab [the highest level of bacteria]. We have said that these present the greatest risk from the packaging, although we maintain that the overall risk is extremely low."

SoupDragon Mon 27-Feb-17 17:20:07

Chances of becoming ill : very low
Chances of unnecessary plastic bag ended up in landfill : almost 100%

Don't lick your fingers in the supermarket and wash your hands. This is what they recommend.

PollyPerky Mon 27-Feb-17 17:34:26

This does not surprise me. I know someone who visited supermarkets now and then with their work; they told me that there are often burst bags and packaging behind the scenes, so the packets of chicken etc on display may have been contaminated on the outside before they were put on the shelves.

The most important thing is never to put the chicken (in its plastic carton or wrapping) straight onto a shelf in your fridge. Put it on a plate.

In some supermarkets with loos it's possible to wash your hands after finishing your shopping OP.
Or one option I use is to keep a packet of hand wipes in the car which I use after loading the bags into my car.

I often use a fruit or veg bag for putting chickens in. I use my own carrier bags so the food is not going straight into the trolley.

PollyPerky Mon 27-Feb-17 17:37:55

Soup that's being naive if I can say so.

My hands feel filthy when I've done a shop; the trolley and the key pad for credit cards are the most contaminated of all. I use a self scanner and bags supplied by the store- Waitrose- so the food isn't in a trolley (loose) at all.

You don't need to lick your fingers, you just need to get in your car and touch the steering wheel to put the bacteria all over the car. It will be there next time you drive.

TinfoilHattie Mon 27-Feb-17 17:40:14

I had some packs of meat leak all over the bottom of a bag for life last week. So I chucked the bag in the bin and washed my hands.

The only hypothetical risk is of the outside of the packet coming into contact with something which is unpacked and without wrapping, and which you then eat without cooking. I'm struggling to think of anything like that in my shopping trolley yesterday. Even things like carrots which we buy loose we peel before eating.

Any bacteria would be easily killed by cooking and it's good food hygiene practice to always wash your hands when handling raw meat.

All this "ewwww ikky bacteria" stuff is usually total overkill. Wash your hands. Cook stuff properly. Job done.

LIZS Mon 27-Feb-17 17:42:41

When this first came out supermarkets gave away separate bags for each fresh meat product, just after the charging for carrier bags to try to prevent waste came in hmm now they don't seem to bother. Also cashiers don't wash hands between customers, nor wear plastic gloves to fill shelves, nor customers wash hands before pushing trolleys, nor clean trolley handles/£ slot in between ... If it worries you take hand sanitiser.

Bookaboo Mon 27-Feb-17 17:44:44

Chances of unnecessary plastic bag ended up in landfill : almost 100%

I'm all for reducing our impact on our environment and reducing unnecessary waste, but not when it's potentially at the expense of health.
I've been reducing, reusing and recycling where I can for many years before the plastic bag tax came in so I don't need a guilt trip about a using a tiny amount of extra plastic (which incidentally gets recycled anyway).

TinfoilHattie Mon 27-Feb-17 17:44:54

You don't need to lick your fingers, you just need to get in your car and touch the steering wheel to put the bacteria all over the car. It will be there next time you drive.

And? You're assuming that the bacteria on your hands are actually dangerous and that they are present in sufficient quantity to harm you. Bacteria are everywhere, you cannot put yourself into a sterile little bubble and never come into contact with germs.

As long as you keep your kitchen clean - and I mean with soap and water, not bleaching everything hourly - wash your hands and make sure you are cooking meat through to piping hot, you won't go far wrong.

PollyPerky Mon 27-Feb-17 17:58:52

Tin please don't be patronising. I'm not an idiot. Of course there are bacteria everywhere and some are good for us.

You aren't right on this though.

If you get campylobacter inside you from raw chicken you will be ill for a week or more - friend of mine did and lost half a stone in a few days. It's also a public health notifiable illness.

Keeping the kitchen clean is one thing, inadvertently swallowing campo is not something I'd recommend and you ought not to be so cavalier.

TinfoilHattie Mon 27-Feb-17 18:21:22

I'm not cavalier - I just don't carry handwipes to the supermarket and disinfect my car!

LapinR0se Mon 27-Feb-17 18:24:03

I think there is an unhealthy amount of thought going into this, especially by the OP

PollyPerky Mon 27-Feb-17 18:31:54

Tin there is nothing wrong with cleaning hands after touching trolleys and packaging that may have serious food poisoning bacteria on it.
You're making out it's odd- it's not.

I don't think you have even read the article in the TGraph that is linked to otherwise you'd not be talking like this.

Argue with the authors of the report if you think it's all nonsense.

PollyPerky Mon 27-Feb-17 20:05:19

Tin I don't carry hand wipes 'to the supermarket'. I have a packet of wipes in the car for any need. If I've picked up a leaking packet of chicken I use a wipe before driving off or wash my hands in the shop's loos. I don't disinfect the car- that's the point of the wipes, so the steering wheel doesn't get chicken bacteria all over it.

If you have ever had really bad food poisoning where you thought you were dying- and wanted to die to escape it all- you'd understand more.

Sparklingbrook Mon 27-Feb-17 20:08:21

I have a packet of wipes in my handbag at all times. Is that so unusual? confused

Bookaboo Mon 27-Feb-17 22:30:43

Bacteria are everywhere, you cannot put yourself into a sterile little bubble and never come into contact with germs.

I know, but we're not talking about bog standard bacteria here. Campylobacter, antibiotic resistant E. coli and salmonella to name a few.

I think there is an unhealthy amount of thought going into this, especially by the OP
Eh? It's just as well that some people are thinking about it I'd say!

I'm not actually a fan of antibacterial products like sanitisers and wipes, as I gather they can contribute to the development of resistance.

Sparklingbrook Tue 28-Feb-17 06:22:04

If there's no soap and water alternative wipes are the only option.

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