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Quick Tips on Food Safety of Turkey Meat

By Maria Prihtamala Omega
Back in 2012, Canada produced around 20.6 million turkeys for consumption. Therefore, the business of this lean meat is important until now. But unfortunately, there are currently Avian Influenza (AI) outbreaks in British Columbia (BC), Canada. There have been ten turkey farms in Chilliwack, BC infected by Avian Influenza (possibly H5N2, H5N8 or H7N3  types). So, the turkey meats are ultimately contaminated by this virus and have been rejected by some importer countries such as Taiwan, China and others. However, CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) and/or BC Agriculture closed the possible suspects of contaminated turkey farms immediately, to reduce the AI spread and infections. This is important because turkey meat is a lean healthy one and protein source for human and dog/pet consumption. On the other hand, other turkey farms, apart from BC, are not contaminated such as from Alberta or Manitoba Canada and the U.S. In terms of, the food safety originally from the farm, the consumers also have to be responsible for the storage and the cooking temperature. 

It is suggested that poultry (such as turkey, chicken and duck) can be enjoyed in a variety of ways-but it can also cause food poisoning if it has not been stored, prepared or cooked properly. Protect your family from illness by following some simple rules. For example, cook them at high temperature at least 74°C, store them for around 3-4 days in the fridge/refrigerator or can be stored longer in the freezer (min. 3-4 months). This is because some people can get a foodborne illness, also known as "food poisoning", and not even know they have it. Food poisoning can be caused by eating foods that are contaminated, either by bacterial or viral infection. It's not unusual for raw poultry to be contaminated with Salmonella or Campylobacter bacteria but these infections can mostly affect children and young adults. Then, to avoid epidemics or an outbreak it is advisable to implement macro and micro-diagnostics for turkeys before and after the culling. For example, the use of AI micro-diagnostics ( or the use of Leuconostoc carnosum 4010 as an antimicrobial preservative (