December 15, 2017

If a Housefly or Blowfly Lands on Your Food, Don’t Eat It!

A new study published in Nature has shown that houseflies and blowflies carry many more types of pathogenic bacteria than previously thought. That means if a housefly lands on your food at a picnic, don't just brush it off. Throw the food away. These bacteria are not only unsafe from a food poisoning perspective, but one found on the flies, Helicobacter pylori, can cause peptic ulcers, increasing the risk of stomach cancer and a type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. One of the study's authors, Dr. Donald Bryant from Pennsylvania State University said, "We believe that the study may show a mechanism for pathogen transmission that has been overlooked by public health officials, and flies may contribute to the rapid transmission of pathogens in outbreak situations." These insects breed in … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving Leftovers: How to Handle Them so You Don’t Get Sick

The USDA is offering tips on how to handle Thanksgiving leftovers so you and your family don't get sick. It is now four days after Thanksgiving, which means that today is the day all of the leftover food from that holiday should be either eaten or frozen for food safety reasons.   First, remember to keep food out of the danger zone of 40°F to 140°F. That's the temperature range where bacteria grow most rapidly. All of your Thanksgiving food should have been refrigerated within two hours of finishing cooking or being taken out of the fridge. All of the food should be cooled quickly. Never put the whole turkey back into the fridge, since it can take a long to cool to a safe temperature. Cut the turkey into pieces, slice the breast, and place the meat into shallow … [Read more...]

How to Cook Thanksgiving Turkey the Safe Way

Foodsafety.gov is offering tips on how to cook Thanksgiving turkey. This bird is the centerpiece of most holiday dinners in America today. Cooking it thoroughly to a safe final internal temperature is crucial to keep you and your family safe. Turkeys, like chickens, can have Salmonella and Campylobacter bacteria on their skin. They must be carefully handled and completely cooked to prevent foodborne illness. First, never rinse the turkey. That step aerosolizes bacteria on the bird and spreads it around your kitchen. Just pat the turkey dry. The easiest way is to put a completely thawed unstuffed turkey into a roasting pan, set the oven to 325°F, and let it cook. Test it with a food thermometer after 3 hours, which is how long an 8 to 12 pound bird should cook. The larger the … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving Meal Food Safety Tips From the Experts

The Thanksgiving meal is the largest one most people prepare and serve every year. To make sure that your Thanksgiving dinner is wholesome and safe, Foodsafety.gov is offering tips. The turkey is the centerpiece of the meal, and it should be handled and cooked properly to make sure it is safe to eat. First, read labels carefully when you buy the bird. The label will tell you whether the bird is fresh or frozen. If you want to serve a fresh turkey at your Thanksgiving meal, buy it no more than two days before the meal. You should have two thermometers in your kitchen; one in the fridge to make sure that the turkey is stored at 40°F or below, and another to make sure the cooked turkey reaches 165°F, the safe final internal temperatures. Remember that the color of the meat is not a … [Read more...]

Food Safety for People with Diabetes

People with diabetes fall into the high risk group for food poisoning. That means they are more likely to have a serious complication if they contract a foodborne illness. Diabetics must be extra careful about handling food safely and eating safe food, so the FDA has published a booklet on this topic. A diabetic's immune system may not work as well as others'. And their immune system may not easily recognize pathogenic bacteria, creating a deli in the body's response to possible infection. Diabetes can damage the cells that create stomach acid, as well as the nerves that help move food through the stomach and intestinal tract. That means the GI tract in a diabetic could hold onto food for a longer period of time, which gives pathogens time to grow. And a diabetic's kidneys may … [Read more...]

Do You Want to Fry Your Thanksgiving Turkey? Read This First

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. There are many ways to prepare a Thanksgiving turkey for your feast, but some are safer than others. Many people may want to deep fry their Thanksgiving turkey. That cooking method makes a delicious turkey that has crisp skin and is juicy and flavorful. But the method can be dangerous. First, some general food safety rules for turkeys. Don't buy the bird too early. A fresh turkey should be cooked within 1 to 2 days. A frozen turkey will take about 3 days to thaw in the fridge (NEVER thaw on the counter) and then must be cooked within 2 days. You can thaw a frozen turkey by submerging the frozen, bagged bird in cold tap water, changing the water eery 30 minutes. A 12 pound turkey will take about 6 hours to thaw using this method. The turkey … [Read more...]

Meijer Recalls Brand Name Produce for Possible Listeria Contamination

In conjunction with the extensive recall by Mann Packing of produce from stores across the United States and Canada, Meijer has now announced a recall of many of its branded produce items. This produce, originally processed and distributed by Mann Packing, may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. Meijer thus joins several other grocery retailers who have issued recalls either of branded produce or of food products created in-store from the recalled vegetables. We will continue to update our list of these secondary recalls as they arise. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) reports that the Meijer recall addresses all of its stores in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The vegetable items affected by the recall were sold … [Read more...]

If You’re Serving Kibbeh, Please Cook It First

Kibbeh is a dish from the Middle East and Africa that is traditionally served at some family celebrations. The variety known as Kibbeh nayyeh is prepared and served raw. And thus poses a risk of food poisoning. The dish is made from red meat, onion, cracked wheat, and spices. Many people who prepare this dish do try to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination, such as cleaning the grinding blades and keeping the meat cold, there is no way to ensure that the product is free from pathogenic bacteria other than to cook it. Any cut of beef or lamb could have pathogenic bacteria, such as E. coli O157:H7, on its surface. When this meat is ground, no matter where it is ground, whether the butcher or your home, the bacteria on the surface will be mixed all through the meat. No uncooked … [Read more...]

Chicken and Food Poisoning

Information about chicken and food poisoning has been posted on the Foodsafety.gov website. This meat has been linked to several food poisoning outbreaks in the past few years. About a million Americans every year get sick from eating contaminated poultry. And Americans eat more chicken every year than every other meat. Raw chicken is often contaminated with Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Clostridium perfringens bacteria. Undercooked chicken, or foods that are contaminated by raw chicken juices, can cause serious illness. You need to pay special attention when you have raw chicken in your home. When you're shopping, put the chicken into a disposable bag before you put it into your shopping card. I get a bag, then put my hand into it, pick up the chicken, and turn the bag inside … [Read more...]

USDA Integrates Recall Info Into FoodKeeper App

The USDA has announced new updates to its popular FoodKeeper app that will provide users with information on recalls. Users can now choose to receive automated notifications when recalls are announced by the USDA and FDA. If you subscribe to this app, you can choose to receive information immediately, as soon as they are announced, or receive daily or weekly updates. The update also includes additional instructional videos and handing and storage of food. Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Carmen Rottenberg said in a statement, "This is a great way for the public to stay informed when food is recalled. The FoodKeeper app is a very handy and easy to use tool; and it reflects USDA's commitment to provide the public with information and knowledge to help them make … [Read more...]

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