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Is it safe to place raw beef on the same surface that a full raw chicken has been on? I intend to roast the beef but I'm wondering if I should take any precautions?

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Excuse my confusion, Rachel, but wouldn't it just be best practice (and easier) to clean your surface or use a clean cutting board instead of going through the rigmarole of worrying about pathogens entering the whole muscle cut roast through a thermometer hole? Beef can be served at lower temperatures so it seems a bit of a no-brainer to not cross-contaminate your beef with raw chicken. Your family/guests will probably appreciate the extra effort also! :-) –  Kristina Lopez Apr 5 '13 at 18:14
    
Rachel's comment in an answer below expands on the original question, indicating it was the butcher that introduced cross-contamination and not her. –  Erica Apr 6 '13 at 16:17

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In general, it is not a good idea to use the same surface for poultry and other foods; you would have to assume that cross-contamination has happened.

In this specific case, since you mention roasting, assuming it is a whole muscle cut, even if contaminated, the pathogens will not quickly penetrate to the interior—they will remain on the surface. Don't cut slits in the meat (such as for inserting garlic, or the cross-hatching on a pork roast) which would allow penetration deeper into the roast.

Assuming you cook it so that the exterior reaches at least 155°F/68.5°C, then your roast should be fine. Just make sure it is well browned which is a sure sign that the surface temperature has (well) exceeded 155 F.

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Yes, it's a whole muscle cut and I intend to roast it with one of those meat thermometers in it, but it's staying in the fridge overnight until getting roasted tomorrow. It was at the butchers that I saw him put it on the same surface a chicken had been on to cut it up. Thought it looked a little weird - thank you for replying :) –  Rachel Apr 5 '13 at 17:20
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Don't put the meat thermometer in it until roasting is well underway, then. You don't want to push any pathogens down into the center. You don't really need to measure temperature of a roast until it is nearing being done. If a professional butcher did that, you may choose to report them to the health authorities where you live; that is completely unacceptable cross-contamination and professionals should know better. –  SAJ14SAJ Apr 5 '13 at 17:22

No. Salmonella (common contaminant of raw chicken) has a much higher denature point that e-coli (common contaminant of beef). Your beef would need to be cooked to a much higher internal temperature which ruins the point of even having beef in the first place.

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