January 17, 2020

Having a New Year’s Eve Party? Here’s How to Host a Safe Buffet

If you're having a New Year's Eve party or an open house for New Year's Day, the FDA is offering tips on how to host a safe buffet. The most important tip is to watch the time. Perishable foods should be refrigerated after two hours out at room temperature. Also, keep buffet serving portions small. You can keep hot food in the oven set at 200°F to 250°F while you are waiting for more guests to arrive. Discard food that's been out for more than two hours, wash the serving dishes, and fill with fresh food. Cold back up dishes should be stored in the fridge until you need to refill platters and bowls. Hot foods should be kept at an internal temperature that is at least 140°F. The danger zone for rapid bacterial growth is 40°F to 140°F. Even if you are keeping hot food on a warmer, … [Read more...]

CDC Offers Holiday Food Safety Tips to Keep You Safe

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is offering holiday food safety tips. Cooking for a crowd is different from cooking for a family, and your guests may include people who are high risk groups for foodborne illness complications. First, make sure you always cook food thoroughly. Print out cooking temperature charts for meat, poultry, fish, and eggs and post them in your pantry. And always use a reliable and accurate food thermometer to test foods before you serve them. Roasts, chops, steaks, and fresh ham should rest for 3 minutes after they are removed from the grill or oven so the temperature can rise. Remember that the "danger zone" for food is between 40°F and 140°F, where bacteria grow rapidly. In fact, bacterial counts can double every 20 minutes at those … [Read more...]

Learn How to Handle Flour Safely in Holiday Baking to Avoid Illness

It's time to make Christmas and Hanukah desserts, including cookies, cakes, and pies. Everyone should learn how to handle flour safely during the holiday baking time with tips from the FDA. Flour is a raw food. Most people don't realize that because it is processed, but it's a raw agricultural product. Wheat is grown outdoors, and can be exposed to many different types of pathogens, including E. coli and Salmonella. Unfortunately, processing raw grains into flour doesn't kill these pathogens. Eggs, too, are another health risk. Raw eggs can be contaminated with Salmonella; in fact, there have been quite a few food poisoning outbreaks over the years linked to eating raw or undercooked eggs. As with flour, cooking to a safe final temperature is the only way to destroy pathogens on … [Read more...]

FDA Sends Warning Letter to Friendly’s Ice Cream

The FDA has sent a warning letter to Friendly's, maker of ready-to-eat ice cream products, syrups, and fudge, about the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in their processing facility. There is zero tolerance for Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat foods. The FDA inspected the company's facility from July 278, 2019 to August 20, 2019. Inspectors found "serious violations of the Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food regulation (CGMP & PC rule), Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 117 (21 CFR part 117)," according to the letter. Environmental samples revealed Listeria monocytogenes in the facility. That strain matches bacteria found during the FDA's 2017 inspection. And the letter states,"The presence of … [Read more...]

Giving Food for Christmas? Get These Meal Kit Food Safety Tips

Meal kits, mail-order food, and home-delivered groceries are very popular gifts this time of year. If you are giving one of these gifts to someone, there are some meal kit food safety tips you need to know from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Perishable foods always need to stay at a safe temperature to prevent bacterial growth that could make someone sick. I have personal experience with this: [Editor's note: I ordered cheese fondue from a company recently and it was not delivered with an ice pack or in an insulated container, but in a regular cardboard box. I threw it away.] Here's what you need to know about meal kit food safety tips. Always ask questions about the company's food safety standards. If you are buying for someone who is in a high risk group … [Read more...]

Holiday Food Safety Tips From the FDA Keeps Your Family Safe

The FDA is offering food safety tips for healthy holidays so you can keep your family safe this season. It's important to follow these tips and to know the signs of food poisoning just in case. Most people sickened with food poisoning suffer with vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and symptoms similar to the flu. The illness usually starts hours to days after eating contaminated food. While most people recover without medical treatment, there are some pathogens, most notably Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, that cause serious illness. People who are most at risk for serious complications from food poisoning include the elderly, infants, young children, pregnant women, anyone with a chronic illness, and people with compromised immune systems. To keep your family safe, follow … [Read more...]

CFIA Cancels License of Ryding-Regency Meat Packers

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has cancelled the Safe Food for Canadians license of Ryding-Regency Meat Packers LTD that are loaded in Toronto, Ontario, effective December 2, 2019. The license of this facility was suspended on September 17, 2019. This happened because "of the opinion that a risk of injury to human health may result if the licence holder continues to conduct an activity that is identified in their licence. It was determined as part of a food safety investigation that the licence holder had failed to implement effective control measures." Many food recalls for E. coli O157:H7 in various beef and veal products were associated with this investigation. You can see the long list of recalled products, brand names, and more information about these recalls at the … [Read more...]

Keep Your Thanksgiving Turkey Safe With Tips From CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is offering tips to keep your Thanksgiving meal safe, concentrating on the turkey. Turkey and other poultry are often contaminated with bacteria and require special handling. Keep your Thanksgiving turkey safe with these tips. In fact, a report in the Center for Disease Control  and Prevention's (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report for the week of November 22, 2019 states that during a huge Salmonella Reading outbreak last year, "“Evidence demonstrated that the outbreak strain was present throughout the turkey industry in live turkeys and in raw turkey products meant for human and animal consumption." When you buy your turkey, put it into the grocery cart last, go right home, and put it in the refrigerator promptly. If you are … [Read more...]

Golden Gate Soy Products Shut Down For Listeria Monocytogenes

The FDA announced that Golden Gate Soy Products, a food manufacturer based in California, is discontinuing selling food products until the company complies with federal regulations. FDA inspections at the company's facility found Listeria monocytogenes bacteria in the food preparation area and that the company was holding food for distribution under insanitary conditions. There is zero tolerance for Listeria monocytogenes contamination in ready-to-eat products. The pathogen can become very hard to remove when it becomes established in a facility, especially when conditions are wet or damp. U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley for the Northern District of California entered a consent decree of permanent injunction on November 22, 2019. Golden Gate Soy Products … [Read more...]

Salmonella Turkey is Still a Problem, With Thanksgiving Approaching

Salmonella turkey is still a problem with the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, according to a report in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Report (MMWR) for the week of November 22, 2019. Last year, a huge turkey recall linked to a Salmonella outbreak hit the U.S. just before Thanksgiving. And the problem hasn't gone away, according to government officials. A multistate outbreak of Salmonella Reading food poisoning cases occurred from November 17 through March 2019. A total of 356 people in 42 states were sickened. What's noteworthy is that the MMWR report states that "cases continue to be identified." What Types of Turkey are the Problem? The patients told investigators they were exposed to various turkey products and live turkeys, suggesting that this issue is endemic in the … [Read more...]

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