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40 to 140 in 4...A Guideline and what to consider...

chef jimmyj

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You will often see this called, " The Rule " here at SMF. This RULE, a Guideline actually, is the most frequently misquoted and misused info on SMF. More perfectly good meat has gone in the garbage at the hands of this," RULE " then from folks cleaning their Refrigerator or Freezer!!!

Rules
have set parameters that cannot, under any circumstances, be exceeded...Guidelines set useful control points that need an action or review but leaves the operator open to interpret data and decide on action based on variables and changes.

Here is the 40 to 140 in 4 Guideline...

Uncured Meat that is not Intact as in Ground, Injected*, Boned/Rolled &Tied or have multiple Punctures to insert flavorings, should be cooked at a temperature, 225+, that will get the Internal Temperature from 40 to 140 degree in 4 hours.


If the Meat, a Pork Butt, Beef Brisket, Etc, is Intact, other than Therm Probe, it don't matter if the IT takes 4 hours or 24 hours to get above 140 if we want it there at all!!! The interior of muscle is Sterile, so there is no Bacteria to worry about.
The reason for the term Guideline over Rule is because if the meat takes 4 hours and 5 minutes to reach 140, or 4.5, 5 or even 6 hours, is all lost? NO! We add variables that need consideration. Bacteria rapidly grows to Unsafe Levels in, " The Danger Zone, 40 degrees to 140 degrees, " Only under PERFECT conditions. Bacteria need the right Temp, Moisture Level, sufficient Food and Time to grow. Remove, reduce or affect any of these and growth slows or stops. Like most of us, bacteria don't just jump out of bed and go to work. If conditions go from one of no growth to a condition that sustains growth the bacteria need time, often hours to Wake up and start multiplying This is called the " Lag Time " before growth. Then they need more time to grow from a few to dangerous levels. Additionally, where one type can still survive at the extreme of 140, many others slow or stop growing at temps as low as 120 degrees and are killed at 130 degrees if held there for sufficient time. Are THESE bacteria an issue if we run over 4 hours? NO again, they were dead an hour or so ago. Now add ingredients that Inhibit Bacterial Growth like Salt, Sugar, Alcohol and Acid, with a Wet or Dry Brine, Marinade, even Injected* and the 4 hours can be exceeded by a couple hours with no concern. (*Injecting Chicken or Beef Broth is more of a concern, than injecting a high salt brine or marinade that contains salt, sugar, acid or alcohol.)

Yes, we need to Cover our Butts and assume ANY or all types of bacteria may be on the meat and Handle it properly, watch smoker and internal temps, be aware of and follow "Guidelines".
Yes, we are here to learn, teach and help each other. However if you are going to tell a member in a panic to, " Toss that DEADLY meat out! ", based on a Guideline...You better Know what the 40 to 140 in 4 Guideline is and if YOU are unsure, reassure the panicked member to hang in there, that we can help and pass the question on.

You want a good " RULE "...It is NOT, " When in Doubt, Throw it out. " At SMF the Rule is, " When in Doubt, PM somebody that KNOWS the answer! "...JJ
 

SonnyE

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I didn't worry about this bacteria thing in the last 47 years.
In fact, I was under the impression smoking killed about all bad critters inside the smoker. And it preserved the meat in there, whatever it be... (In my case, mostly trout and salmon, some jerky from beef and game.) And it's got to be better than fish hanging on a branch over a fire.
I know most of the time, if I get a lung full of smoker smoke, it about chokes me somethin fierce.
(My wife sez, "It stinks!" :mad:)

But I'm still standing, and... my goodness... still smokin meat. In spite of doing it about all wrong.
I didn't know any better back then.

If ignorance is bliss, I guess I'm delirious.
Alive and delirious.
But I try to not overthink things.

Sonny, Eating the evidence before anybody catches me. :confused:
 

chef jimmyj

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Smoking and heat in general does kill bacteria. The ONLY issue here is meat that is not intact. Fish, a Venison Roast, Jerky, that is intact muscle, 4 hours or 40 to get to temp and you are fine. But, smoke sausage, a meat loaf or a 10 pound Deer Leg that you injected beef broth into and smoke at less than ,225°F and no matter how hot you get it you may be in trouble. With all of these the temp will kill bacteria but dangerous Toxins that are NOT affected by heat are what we worry about.

As far as Doing Things Wrong and you are still alive...Many of us have indulged in Risky behavior. The 80's was a blur for me! Cocaine, Unprotected Sex with many, many willing young ladies, Street Racing Muscle Cars, hell, we picked up a case of Beer to Cruse the streets or drive to the Beach. Drunk Driving was a Friday and Saturday Night event! And I'M still alive. But I know better now! That kind of behavior can Kill me, especially if my Wife found out, and stopped that silliness a long time ago. Back then I was Lucky! Now I am Smarter...JJ
 

SmokinAl

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I like that comment JJ!
We could be brothers!!
Al
 

ab canuck

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Great post and info....... Ditto for the past tom fooleries that a lot of us have done. Age may slow some things down for us all but it USUALLY brings about wisdom and smarts through that exp. I know I am smarter from it but am always learning to improve our lives.
 

SonnyE

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Only the 80's JJ? :p Lightweight... I hear the "Me Too" movement is looking for you....

Look, I take care, I clean, and disinfect. Like most, I don't like to be sick.
But I'm not going to constantly worry about it.
If it looks off, smells off, or tastes off, it gets thrown out. In fact, too much gets thrown out. It's the American way!
I am much more likely to pick up germs outside of my home, than bad ones from inside it. ;)
But, if worrying's your thing, have at it. The only thing I worried about was the year 2000. And hey, I made it!
I decided to change ma wayz in 2005, decided I'd like to stick around and watch the Grandkid's grow-up. (I've been a Grandpa since I was 35. 1985) Now we've got a dozen, and 1 GG.
I stay healthier and a lot happier by staying away from John Q. Public. And I don't care for prepared food brought in because I don't know where it's been. When I see "Product of (some distant country)" I wonder if it has DDT on it.
Not that our own FDA does it's job either. Worker's defecating in the fields, or not washing their hands, contaminating food as it is harvested. People coming to work sick because they have to work.
Nope, we take care of it at home. But the more Worldly our food sources become, the less stable the conditions it comes to us as, grows. So we clean it, cook the hell out of it, and hope.
And then the fecal matter in the salad makes us sick, darn!
Or would you prefer:
Bacteria
  • Vibrio cholerae (cholera)
  • Clostridium difficile (pseudomembranous enterocolitis)
  • Shigella (shigellosis / bacillary dysentery)
  • Salmonella typhii (typhoid fever)
  • Vibrio parahaemolyticus.
  • Escherichia coli.
  • Campylobacter.
Or your neighbors children are carriers because their parents didn't believe in vaccinations.
Yep, the petri dish is getting full.
And I'm still kickin....
 

noboundaries

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I had a question for the food safety guys, but found the answer online. The question was: Can humans develop tolerances or immunities to common foodborne bacteria, viruses, and parasites? The answer, no.

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs399/en/

Please understand I have NO INTENTION of become less safe handling food, or starting an argument, but that question always pops into my mind when we talk about how things used to be done, and how they're done now. Also, natives to less developed countries eat and drink things that put Americans on the porcelain throne for days within 24-48 hours of consumption.

I'm was curious about my question, but the link above cleared that up.
 

GaryHibbert

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That was a great post JJ. Hopefully it will clear up a lot of misconceptions people have. Thank you.
As for the 80s, well I was alive then. But, God help me, I grew up in the 60s--and I'm not sure how, but I'm still here to talk about those times. LOL
Gary
 

chef jimmyj

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I had a question for the food safety guys, but found the answer online. The question was: Can humans develop tolerances or immunities to common foodborne bacteria, viruses, and parasites? The answer, no.

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs399/en/

Please understand I have NO INTENTION of become less safe handling food, or starting an argument, but that question always pops into my mind when we talk about how things used to be done, and how they're done now. Also, natives to less developed countries eat and drink things that put Americans on the porcelain throne for days within 24-48 hours of consumption.

I'm was curious about my question, but the link above cleared that up.
True, but a healthy immune system and gut flora, made of a variety of probiotics, goes a long way toward protecting you from infections and/ or reduces the severity if you are infected. You consume some Ecoli 0157 bacteria every day from raw veggies and even though food contacting your dirty fingers. Your body has no issue battling the bug. It is large numbers of bacteria from feces contaminated meat and veg that can overwhelm your defenses and result in illness...JJ
 

Jbizzle

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So here’s my situation. I bribed some pork ribs, salt, vinegar and salt, was definitely a bit too warm. Went for about 4-5 hours pulled it out, and it smelled like eggs. Rubbed and put in the fridge. Planning on smoking for 8 hours at 225. Is it going to be ok?I think I cooked it a bit in the brine
 

chef jimmyj

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Not the best situation but salt and vinegar was inhospitable to bacteria growth over the few hours it took to cool the brine below 40°F. You should be fine but your nose will let you know if the meat spoiled...JJ
 

bill ace 350

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Smoking and heat in general does kill bacteria. The ONLY issue here is meat that is not intact. Fish, a Venison Roast, Jerky, that is intact muscle, 4 hours or 40 to get to temp and you are fine. But, smoke sausage, a meat loaf or a 10 pound Deer Leg that you injected beef broth into and smoke at less than ,225°F and no matter how hot you get it you may be in trouble. With all of these the temp will kill bacteria but dangerous Toxins that are NOT affected by heat are what we worry about.

As far as Doing Things Wrong and you are still alive...Many of us have indulged in Risky behavior. The 80's was a blur for me! Cocaine, Unprotected Sex with many, many willing young ladies, Street Racing Muscle Cars, hell, we picked up a case of Beer to Cruse the streets or drive to the Beach. Drunk Driving was a Friday and Saturday Night event! And I'M still alive. But I know better now! That kind of behavior can Kill me, especially if my Wife found out, and stopped that silliness a long time ago. Back then I was Lucky! Now I am Smarter...JJ
Great post.

What are your thoughts on whole muscle cured jerky?
Safe to dehydrate at 160 +- without pre-cooking or not?
Thanks.
 

chef jimmyj

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According to the USDA, 160 for seconds is sufficient to kill bacteria. Beyond that, it's about making in dry. 130 is fine to both dry the jerky and keep any errant bacteria from taking hold...JJ
 

SonnyE

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Great post.

What are your thoughts on whole muscle cured jerky?
Safe to dehydrate at 160 +- without pre-cooking or not?
Thanks.
Mine gets cooked in the dehydrator.
I get my cured and marinated Jerky assembled on the clean mats and racks, then start my Dehyro at 165°. (highest heat setting. I always clean my equipment between batches, too.)
I've been experimenting with time frames, 4-6 hours, until my jerky is dried to my liking. Which is dryer than most...
I've eaten much more than anyone else of my batches because I find it addicting and delicious. (Ima Pig)
So far as I know, I'm still alive and healthy (confirmed by my doctors), and no one has gotten ill from my jerky.

The instructions for my Dehydro state to put Ground Beef jerky in the oven at 275° for 10 minutes.

"If you did not cook the meat prior to dehydrating, cook it after, following the instructions below: Cooking meat after dehydrating—Preheat oven until the internal temperature is 275°F. (For an accurate temperature reading, check with an oven thermometer.) Remove jerky strips from dehydrator trays and place on a baking sheet close together, but not touching. Heat jerky in preheated oven for 10 minutes (jerky strips should be sizzling when removed from the oven). Remove jerky from baking sheet and cool to room temperature"

It tasted like Hamburger. But my dog liked it.
I decided I like whole muscle jerky the best.
 

chef jimmyj

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Years ago an Asian market in Lancaster PA carried a Sweet and Spicy Beef jerky that was fried after dehydrating. The owner had no details as they bought it, with other items, in Chinatown, NYC. Unfortunately the little old lady that made the jerky passed away and took her " Ancient Chinese Secret " with her. Some 20 years later I have yet to find a recipe that seems close...JJ
 

chef jimmyj

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I have seen a few videos with jerky being air or sun dried then more of what I would say is Poached in oil at 225°F. The jerky sizzles but not hard fried. The video here is similar but the jerky I had was spicy with the flavor of ginger and mild garlic...JJ

 

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