Microbiology of Thanksgiving

by gwilson on Nov.14, 2010, under Uncategorized

turkey04Students in Dr. Wilson’s BIOL 3410 Microbiology course are taking a look at a traditional Thanksgiving dinner from a different perspective.  This week, they will be evaluating the ingredients going into the feast qualitatively and quantitatively to see what microbes are found present before and after preparation.  On Tuesday, they will be taking samples from raw ingredients:  turkey, stuffing “stuff”, cranberries, potatoes, green beans, and other things.   The samples will be tested for the presence of bacteria including enteric bacteria and staphylococci, along with performing dilutions to determine the numbers of bacteria in the fixings before dinner is prepared.  Then, on Thursday there will be a Thanksgiving feast, but not before the prepared dinner is again sampled for the presence of microbes.  Through this exercise, students will see the routine presence of bacteria in wholesome foods and the impact of baking and cooking on improving the wholesomeness of foods we consume.  Who says science has to be boring? :-)

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