Our parents had chocolate or cheese fondue. We have the charcuterie board.

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Charcuterie is pronounced "shaar·koo·tr·ee" and is a French word that is derived from the French words for "flesh" and "cooked." Yum. Try telling your friends that the next time you invite them over. "Hi! So tonight we're going to have a platter of cooked flesh...

In the last year or so, creating an eye-catching charcuterie board is something that everyday people have been putting doing in an attempt to knock their friend's socks off while quietly touting their creative platter putting together skills.

Charcuterie boards have actually been around for hundreds of years, but for whatever reasons, Americans recently latched on to the idea and have run with it. Like: run, run. It's almost as though there's an unspoken challenge to come up with the most elaborate or most over-the-top charcuterie board simply to lord over friends who are not as visually gifted. 

I love charcuterie boards, especially when someone else does the work and I get to shove the deliciousness into my mouth. What I'm leery of though is that there's a salmonella outbreak in 17 different states now, including New York, where people have been getting really sick and each of the cases has been linked back to a popular charcuterie board meat.

While there haven't been any recalls on Italian-style meats, the CDC says it's investigating two different salmonella outbreaks in 17 states that they claim are linked to Italian-style meats such as "salami, prosciutto, and other meats that can often be found in antipasto or charcuterie assortments."

To date, 36 people have become sick and 12 of those 36 were sick enough that they needed to be hospitalized. The CDC believes that the number of people sick might be higher because a lot of times people don't visit the doctor when they're ill.

As the investigation continues, the number of sick is expected to rise because it can take up to a month of tracing to determine whether or not a sick person is sick because of the outbreak or because of something else.

So here's the conundrum- you've already purchased your items to make the most epic charcuterie board and some of those items include Italian-style meats. What should you do? The CDC says that if you or someone you plan to serve the meats to is at a higher risk of getting salmonella, you should "heat Italian-style meats to an internal temperature of 165°F or until steaming hot before eating."

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