40-140-4 VS Final Temp

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by plj, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. plj

    plj Meat Mopper

    OK, I'll throw some ignorance out there for public display:

    I understand the 40-140* within 4 hours rule. Problem is, all the info I'm finding says that getting the final temp up to 185 (for a whole turkey) is what kills the bugs, betty crocker (et al) doesnt say anything about how fast you have to get it there.

    Can anybody point me to reliable info on this topic? Links would be great :)

    I'm not trying to start a food fight on thanksgiving eve here (although that would be memorable, lol), just trying to understand why the 4 hours matters.
    It makes sense that between 40-140 you have the ideal environment to grow intestinal nasties. And it makes sense to minimize that. But if 185 will kill them anyway, do I really care that a few more "grew" during the extra couple hours in the oven? Is the difference between 4 hours and 6 hours to get to 140 really so significant that I cant cook a 20 lb turkey without cutting it up or cranking up the heat?

    Ultimately, I guess maybe my question is "does 185 kill the nasties", yes or no? If yes, then smoking a 20 lb turkey shouldnt be a problem as long as you hit the internal temps. If no, then wouldnt we be better off eating it right out of the fridge to really minimize the time for bug growth?
  2. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Its hard to find all the info in one place but heres part of a fact sheet

    Raw meat and poultry should always be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature. When roasting meat and poultry, use an oven temperature no lower than 325 °F. Cook beef, veal and lamb steaks, roasts and chops to a safe minimum internal temperature of 145 °F, pork to 160 °F and ground beef, veal and lamb to 160 °F. Poultry should reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F throughout the product. However, for poultry, the minimum internal temperature of 165 °F for safety may not achieve the desired doneness for quality purposes. Use a food thermometer to assure that meat and poultry have reached a safe minimum internal temperature.

    If raw meat and poultry have been handled safely, using the above preparation recommendations will make them safe to eat. If raw meats have been mishandled (left in the "Danger Zone" too long), bacteria may grow and produce toxins which can cause foodborne illness. Those toxins that are heat resistant are not destroyed by cooking. Therefore, even though cooked, meat and poultry mishandled in the raw state may not be safe to eat even after proper preparation.

    Thats from this fact sheet


    Heres another on smoking Turkey

  3. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    piney prety much covered it........it is the toxins that will get you even above 165.
  4. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I saw a guy eat one right out of the fridge one time on TV. I wouldn't do it though.
  5. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    IF it was safe to begin with AND it wa handled safely from kill to packing to shipping to market to purchase to storage you could.......but bird shashimi is not my thing.
  6. plj

    plj Meat Mopper

    Jeez, toxins. Just one more thing I didnt know. Searching on "bacterial toxins in food" provided some enlightening reading, thanks.

    Nothing's as simple as it was when we were kids and cooked unrefrigerated meat on hot rocks, is it? Sure do miss that youthful ignorance.

    Thanks for your responses.

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