post #41 of 41
Gene, you have asked a lot of great questions that need to be asked and as such, are many we all have. There are many factors involved, including neverending "what-ifs".

Understand the science behind the pathogen and you will understand its control.

To answer the your question "...won’t the high temp of the smoker kill the bacteria BEFORE it touches the beef or chicken..."

the answer is no.

The few moments it takes for the medium (juices) to fall onto the meat even at the most elevated temperatures in most smokers and ovens are not near enough to kill the pathogens.

This is because the control (killing) of the pathogens is a factor of temperature AND time. The seconds it takes of a drop of hot chicken juice falling through a hot smoker will not kill the bacteria.

To properly pasteurize (kill) food requires a certain length of time at a certain temperature DEPENDENT on which type of pathogen you want to kill.

Please know that certain dangers related to food sitting out for extended periods are not so much related to the pathogens (bugs) as much as to the toxins they release. These toxins, unlike the "bugs" can not be neutralized with heat. They are dangerous and potentially deadly all the time.

Also be aware that Salmonella and E-coli DO NOT produce such toxins and as such do not pose that kind of danger.

So. Would I cook my chickens on top of my beef? Probably not, but then I don't eat my beef at 130F and if I had a restaurant or rotisserie or whatever sure as heck wouldn't serve it at that temp either for exactly SAFETY REASONS.

Go to any grocery, or restaurant and they have continuous rotisserie operations - all approved by state and federal guidelines. I wouldn't overly worry about chickens on the spit if you are running a business. Ever seen multiple spit operations? 3, 4 spits rotating around eachother? Just change each side-by -side bird at the same time and you are clear of cross-contamination issues as they stand today.

Hope this has helped you in some way.