Yanno, I do agree that the whole XL debacle is a great example of how important food safety and regulation is.
Totally. I get it. If we are going to allow these massive meat processing centers to operate, the main focus needs to be food safety.
I cook as part of my job, and hold food safe certification so I have actually been asked by quite a few people what I think about all this.
Would you still eat it they ask?
And I'll tell you that I just treat all meats and veggies that come into my kitchen as though they have these bacteria's on them already. I think of it as a fail safe. I was actually a LOT more worried about my own food prep when we went through the Maple Leaf foods poisonings as that is supposed to be a ready to eat product.
A meat thermometer. I have an electronic one with a probe attached to a wire that allows me to monitor meat as it cooks in the oven or on the BBQ. There are less expensive versions of thermometer, so there really is no exuse not to have one. Temperature guides for cooking meat are here. If you insist on a raw/rare hamburger? Then that is at your own risk, and people should just understand that.
A spray bottle, filled with bleach and water. Do you know how cheap bleach is? Dirt cheap, and it does not take much at all. Bleach is extremely effective against ecoli and salmonella.
Stainless cooking tools. I have a personal thing about using plastic bowls and such when mixing up meats. Stainless is far easier to clean, lasts forever and can be sanitized very easily. It can also be cleaned in VERY hot water with no melting.
Cutting boards: get two. Use one for meat, one for veggies. Viola. Soak them in bleach solution after use.(My ex mother in law who was oh so proper used to flip the cutting board over after cutting meat and then make salad on it. *blink* Gross. Dangerous. DON'T.)
If you are cooking things properly, then the other thing to be vigilant on is Cross contamination:
I split large containers of meat up in the sink for freezing. I have the typical household sinks. Disinfect before and after. No trail of contamination all over the kitchen. The trick is, to get everything you need ready before you start so that you are not contaminating the rest of the kitchen surfaces to grab this or that. Bleach the taps handles too after you are done. Keep a cloth with bleach and water solution at the side in case you do forget something.
Some of the same procedures for mixing up hamburger. Get everything ready first.
When I shop, I don't allow them to put meat with other things. Veggies have their own bags. Don't leave things out too long after purchasing them. Into the fridge or freezer with any perishable.
Don't thaw things on the counter. Do it in the fridge ON THE BOTTOM in a container that is large enough to hold any drips. This may require that you have to plan ahead.
Stuff you may not think of:
Fridge temps. Get a thermometer and make sure that your food isn't actually in the danger zone.
Set refrigerators at or below 4°C (40°F). Freezers at or below -18°C (0°F).
Get leftovers into the fridge within two hours. If it is a MASSIVE thing like a pot of soup, split it up so it cools faster.
Stuffing the turkey? At your own freaking risk I say. You have to ensure the cooked temp of the stuffing ALONG with the bird, and get that stuffing completely cleaned out within half an hour of cooking. (personal pref: I think stuffing increases cooking time too much and dries out the bird. I make stuffing in a casserole dish.)
I am actually far more paranoid about eating out to be honest? Restaurant kitchen horror stories.