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Toxoplasmosis and cooking question

(5 Posts)
Ginger84 Wed 13-Jun-18 22:50:32

Hi all,

I had a question about toxoplasmosis. Obviously it is one of those things that I have a phobia about since you cannot really know if you got it and I am generally super careful. As I was cooking diced beef today, I realised that I may have doing something wrong while cooking and am now quite worried:
Usually when I cook I used a wooden spoon and cook the diced beef until it is very thoroughly cooked. I cook it over three stages, the first to fry it and make sure that it is visibly sealed, then add chopped onions to it and cook it some more, then add sauce to it and leave it to cook for a while (around 15 minutes). It is always set on maximum heat. I usually use the same wooden spoon beginning to end (I leave dipped in the sauce to stir the whole time) and to taste if the salt is right at the end. Today, it occurred to me that this same wooden spoon, which I use to test the salt, is the one that touched the meat when it was raw. I always thought it is fine to use it to taste in the end since it has literally been cooking with the meat the whole time, but my paranoid mind right now started telling me that I should be switching the spoons half way through. It just never occurred to me before, but now that it did, I am a bit worried...
Anyone thought of this before or has any thoughts on whether this is a valid concern for worry?

Many thanks in advance

Mississippilessly Wed 13-Jun-18 22:54:32

Honestly this isn't something to worry about. Anything on the spoon will have cooked off. I sympathise as I had a similar freak out but seriously don't worry. You haven't done anything wrong.

Ginger84 Thu 14-Jun-18 08:25:01

Thanks so much! I worried so much that I kept frantically trying to find anything online on the topic. My DH agrees with you too. I just can't help but worry, especially about something as sneaky as toxo as you cannot see it and it doesn't announce itself in the body. I am trying to take each day as it comes, but I have also become worried about natural habits and things that I never questioned before which is making my life difficult. Thanks so much for easing those worries a bit.

LisaSimpsonsbff Thu 14-Jun-18 08:49:14

I also think that this is absolutely fine - as you say, the spoon will have been heated too, it's not like using the same knife for both raw and cooked meat.

I understand freaking out about toxoplasmosis - as you say, it's an easy one for health anxiety to settle on because you can't know for sure if you've been infected - but do try and remember how rare it is. The NHS says:

It's estimated that only 1 in 10,000 to 30,000 babies is born with congenital toxoplasmosis in the UK.

This is despite the fact that essentially all pregnant women at some point do something that carries a toxoplasmosis risk, as it's basically impossible to go nine months without eating an imperfectly cooked bit of meat or imperfectly washed piece of fruit or vegetable. Lots of pregnant women (like me) have cats, plenty of them are vets, farmers or for other reasons come into contact with potential animal carriers a lot. And yet it remains that rare. I'm not saying not to take sensible precautions, but do remember how rare a risk it is.

LisaSimpsonsbff Thu 14-Jun-18 08:54:36

PS. As you say it's started to make life difficult for you, I would mention this to your midwife. The point where it's interfering in your daily life is the point where anxiety really needs addressing for your long-term mental health.

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