Cooking | August 26, 2021 4:15 pm

The CDC Wants You to Heat Your Italian-Style Meats Until They’re “Steaming”

It'll be a cold day in hell before I heat my gabagool

A platter of regional specialties of Prosciutto di Parma, salami, Culatello and Parmesan cheese is served at Antica Salumeria Giorgio Pancaldi, a delicatessen which traces its history back to the 15th century, on March 24, 2017 in Reggio Emilia, Italy. The CDC recommends heating all similar Italian meats in the US due to two salmonella outbreaks.
You see this prosciutto? This salami? This culatello? Until the CDC gives the all-clear, better steer clear.
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Bad news for fans of cured meats: After two major salmonella outbreaks, the CDC is recommending that people heat all their “Italian-style meats” to “an internal temperature of 165°F or until steaming hot before eating,” if they happen to be at high risk of complications from the food-borne bacterial infection.

The recommendation comes after two salmonella outbreaks have affected consumers in 17 different states, with 36 people becoming ill and 12 people being hospitalized. The CDC is still working to determine exactly what particular meats or products are linked to the outbreaks — hence the broad recommendation to heat all “Italian-style meats” for the time being.

Of course, it’s a little unclear what exactly constitutes an Italian-style meat. According to the CDC, people in both outbreaks reported eating salami, prosciutto, coppa and soppressata, but they also ate “other meats that can be found in antipasto or charcuterie assortments.” So if you’re really trying to play it safe, your best bet is to avoid cured meats in general (anything you might find on a charcuterie board or an antipasto platter), as painful as that may be.

Still, we’re going to have to disagree with the good people at the CDC when it comes to whether you should be heating these meats. Instead of completely messing with the flavor and texture and popping them in the microwave, might we suggest simply forgoing them entirely until the outbreak is under control? If given the choice between hot proscuitto and no proscuitto, we’ve gotta go with no proscuitto. No one wants mushy, grey meat that has essentially been steamed to death; just cool it with the gabagool until we get the all-clear.