I've been reading some about botulism.
I've a question about why everyone is so concerned about it when smoking.
We have 320 million in the US. and only about 15 cases of botulism that is food borne. Most of those are in western states with high elevation, and Alaska.
The rest of the 150 cases a year are mostly from infant botulism, wound botulism, or commercially prepared foods.
That 15 food borne in 320 million relates to about your chances of contacting botulism while smoking meat, or canning food, to roughly .000000000146484 in a million.
(if my math is off, please correct me) My cheapo calculator doesn't have that many digits, so I did it by hand.
But... most of those 15 cases of botulism came from home canned, or commercially prepared food.
So.... Why should I worry about if I miss my 40* to 140* by a few minutes to an hour? Or why take jerky to 160* when drying?
I stand a better chance of dying, from pulling out onto road while going to store I think. We're ALL going to die. Pick your own way to worry about.
I'd rather die in 4 to 20 days with a stick of jerky, smoked fish or ribs in my mouth, than linger in pain for months or years from some disease!!!
Now, I am not preaching ignore all safety practices. I always do my best with hygiene and food treatment. Same as Grandpa and Parents. Common sense, I think it is called.
There are more prevalent food poisoning than Bot. They make you very sick and may occasionally kill you.
I think the real danger comes not your cooking method, but rather from where you buy you meat, and how it was processed before you bought it.
You NEVER saw a fresh killed chicken being washed when we were growing up. Kill it, bleed it, scald it to remove feather, torch or burn off pin feather on flame, then stick in fridge, can, or cook for dinner. You can't get that taste from Tyson with those baby chicks they sell!
If I've stepped on any safety police toes, my apologies.
This post is just my opinion. If you disagree with me, please enlighten me as to why. I'm always willing to learn. That is why I am on this forum.
One thing to discern is that Cured meat does not fall into the 40° to 140° in 4 hours category, as the curing process greatly reduces that danger. Just like cold smoking for many hours reduces the danger because of the nitrite in wood smoke on fresh pork. And/or a combination of both. I personally recommend achieving a finished internal temp of 146° or higher, as I certainly don't trust my sons or their loved ones to cook stuff thoroughly, lol! If I give it to them fully cooked, there is less chance of them messing it up. Jerky is normally has some curing salt in it and can go past those rules, and thin enough to easily cook and dry.
Thank you Wade, for your remarks on Frank's asking; we all learn and need refresher reminders.