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Food Safety Issues/baked a ham; plastic melted in it, is it safe?

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Question
Recently bought a ham to bake and it had a plastic "cap" on one end; forgot to take it off and baked it with the plastic piece on it. Of course now I have melted plastic all over one end of my ham.  Is it safe to eat the other end of the ham or has the plastic made the whole ham not safe to eat? Don't want the family getting sick.

Thank you in advance for your help!

Answer
Hi Pam,

According to the Food Safety and Inspection Service (part of USDA), if the round plastic bone protector is left on the ham during cooking, the plastic may melt and give off a chemical odor that can permeate the meat around the plastic.  If the ham is cooked in an open pan the meat next to the round plastic protector can be cut off and the ham consumed.  If the ham was cooked in a closed pan, the recommendation is to not consume the ham,

For an article from FSIS that covers this topic, please see:  http://www.fsis.usda.gov/pdf/hock_locks_and_other_accoutrements.pdf

The plastic piece is designed to cover the bone end so it doesn't tear the outer plastic wrap.

Carol  

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Carol Schlitt

Expertise

I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.

Experience

I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc - www.safeandsavorysolution.com

Organizations
National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

Education/Credentials
BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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