Fandango’s Flashback Friday — May 6th

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 6th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on May 6, 2011 on my old blog.

Reheat Your Meat

No, the name of this post is not the tagline for an ad about a new miracle cure for erectile dysfunction or to enhance male sexual performance.

It is about a warning that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued for women who are pregnant, people over 50, “and especially for those over 65.”  Uh oh!

According to a recent article I read in USA Today, the CDC is warning us old timers against eating cold lunch meats, cold cuts, and deli meats.

Who knew that the latest threat to the survival of the human race would be honey cured ham, roasted turkey breast, or bologna? And yet the CDC suggests that such luncheon meats should not be eaten unless they’ve been thoroughly reheated to “steaming hot” (or at least 165 degrees) in order to kill any bacteria that might be present.

I can think of few things less appetizing than a plate piled high with steaming hot cold cuts. (If sliced luncheon meats are steaming hot, are they still considered to be “cold cuts”?)

Actually I can think of a few other piles of steaming stuff less appetizing than steaming cold cuts, but let’s just not go there.

This recommendation to reheat your meat is due to an insidious food-borne bug by the name of listeria monocytogenes. It’s the source of an uncommon but potentially fatal disease called listeriosis. About 85% of cases of listeriosis are linked to cold cuts or deli meats. The remaining 15%, according to reliable sources from the makers of Scope mouthwash, are linked to the use of Listerine, which, competitors claim, has listeria as its active ingredient.

By the way, Listeriosis is fatal about 20% of the time! And like all really scary threats to your health and well being, you can’t see, taste, or smell listeria.

Most luncheon meats are cooked at food processing plants where the bacteria in them are killed during the packaging process. But the problem is that once the cold cuts are sliced or the package is opened, they are vulnerable to listeria.

If just a single cell of listeria from a contaminated surface, a meat slicer, or even the air gets on the meats, it has a unique ability to keep growing even when refrigerated. It’s like a friggin’ zombie that just won’t die.

The CDC also advises that you not keep opened packages of lunch meat, or meat sliced at the local deli, for longer than three to five days in your refrigerator. I looked at a package of organic roasted turkey breast that my wife bought at Whole Foods Market a while ago. The package does say “Keep refrigerated (best within four days of opening).”

Maybe the warning should say, “Best within four days of opening; 20% probability of death if consumed after that.”

The suggestion that cold cuts should be consumed within three to five days of opening is something that virutally no one pays attention to, says Douglas Powell, director of food safety at Kansas State University. “Anecdotally, lots of people keep cold cuts in their refrigerator far longer than they should,” he says. “People keep them for one to two weeks. That’s the key message. If you get it from the deli counter, four days max.”

I always thought that if it didn’t smell bad, if it didn’t feel slimy, if the edges hadn’t turned green or blue, and if there weren’t little white spots of mold on the meat, it was still okay to eat.

By the way, the CDC also recommends that, after eating refrigerated luncheon meats or deli cold cuts without reheating your meat, if you get an erection lasting more than four hours, you should contact your doctor immediately.

Or gargle with Listerine.

17 thoughts on “Fandango’s Flashback Friday — May 6th

  1. Mister Bump UK May 6, 2022 / 3:24 am

    So, how many people died from listeria last year, then? Or take out covid – 2019? That’ll give you an idea of the scale of the problem.

    I’m quite surprised that people leave open cold cuts in the fridge for longer than a few days, though. Once it is open we always knew that a clock was ticking.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango May 6, 2022 / 6:53 am

      CDC estimates that Listeria is the third leading cause of death from foodborne illness, or food poisoning, in the United States. An estimated 1,600 people get sick from Listeria each year, and about 260 die.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Stine Writing and Miniatures May 6, 2022 / 5:17 am

    First of all….bahahahahahahahaha! Good ending! But seriously, it makes sense. I am a sucker for bologna and cheese. Not all the time but every so often I buy a half pound. I know, please don’t tell me how bologna is made, yada yada yada…Anyhow, now I have a real reason to not buy it. I wonder about the prepackaged stuff, like Oscar Meyer…Those are only opened once you get them home. Does Listeria live in cold refrigerators? What about freezers?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango May 6, 2022 / 6:55 am

      I don’t know about freezers, but apparently they can live in refrigerators.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. leigha66 May 9, 2022 / 8:06 pm

    This is why we can’t have nice things…. really, hot cold cuts? Yuck!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Carol anne May 11, 2022 / 5:29 pm

    Wow! Listeria would not be a good illness to get then it sounds like!
    xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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