Saturday, November 06, 2010

#Foodallergy peeps: just say no to self-basted turkeys

This may be a bit obvious, but I thought it was worth repeating.  When buying your turkey for Thanksgiving this year, be sure to avoid "Basted" or "Self-basted" turkeys, as they are injected with fillers and miscellaneous mystery ingredients that could prove harmful to those of us with food allergies.  Here's the official definition:
"BASTED or SELF-BASTED — Bone-in turkey products (such as whole birds) that are injected or marinated with a solution containing butter or other edible fat, broth, stock, or water, plus spices, flavor enhancers, and other approved substances should be labeled as "basted" or "self- basted." The maximum added weight of approximately 3% solution before processing is included in the net weight on the label. Labels must include a statement identifying the total quantity and common or usual name of all ingredients in the solution, e.g., "Injected with approximately 3% of a solution of _____________ (list of ingredients)." 

Helpfully, the USDA has a cheatsheet for turkey rules to explain the differences between the types of turkeys you can buy.  Budget permitting, always try to find the least-processed meat you can.  If fresh is out of your reach, then flash-frozen is likely the next best thing.

Turkey is probably one of the few things that most of us allergic people can all eat, so I for one, make tons of it for Thanksgiving so that I have superfresh turkey meat stashed in the freezer for later use.

1 comment:

Steve said...

The holidays are very tough. When inviting guests, don't forget to ask about food allergies. If you have pets, mention this as well to your guests. A very allergic person to cats may want to know ahead of time.

For your food allergy guests, you might want to print our a food declaration card for all foods you bought or prepared. Anything prepared at home needs to be labeled as "may contain trace amounts" unless you are completely certain there is no risk of the allergen appearing.

Another solution is to buy fresh cutting boards, utensils, cooking pans etc... It's better to be safe than have someone at risk of dying from your meal.

Eat safely, enjoy the holidays.