December 9, 2022

Serve Safe Turkey and Stuffing This Holiday Season

During the holidays, one of the most often prepared recipes is turkey and stuffing. This tradition is delicious, but fraught with potential problems, especially for beginning cooks. Clemson University offers tips on how to prepare this type of recipe and how to serve safe turkey and stuffing. Most food safety experts recommend that you do not stuff your turkey. If the stuffing isn't completely cooked to 165°F it can contain live pathogenic bacteria, since the turkey acts as an insulator and it's difficult to heat the stuffing in the very center. This may disappoint people, since stuffing cooked inside the bird is moist and well flavored from the turkey itself. But you can replicate that taste and texture by simply drizzling turkey stock over the dressing in a casserole, and … [Read more...]

Get Holiday Food Safety Tips From the FDA

It's the holiday season, which means that people are cooking more and hosting parties and gatherings. But this may be the first time cooking for a large group for you. In that case, these holiday food safety tips from the FDA will help. If you don't understand food safety, the risk that someone will get sick from how you handle food increases. The possibility of cross-contamination, undercooked, and improper chilling and reheating exists every time you are in the kitchen. Learning these rules is especially important if you have anyone at your gathering who is at higher risk for serious complications from food poisoning, including the elderly, young children, pregnant women, and those with chronic illnesses and compromised immune systems. It's important to know the four basic food … [Read more...]

FDA Issues Guidance on Requirements For Food Allergen Labeling

The FDA has issued new guidance for food allergen labeling. This new document will answer questions about label requirements, and update information that was in earlier editions of this final document. The FDA is seeking comments on this new guidance. There are nine major food allergens, according to the government. If one of these ingredients is present in the food, it must be listed in the ingredient list on the label, and in a special allergen statement that is put on every package. Those nine allergens are milk, soy, wheat, eggs, finfish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, and sesame seeds. Sesame was added when the FASTER Act was passed in April 2021. Those allergens were chosen based on how common the reactions to them are, and their severity. The draft guidance includes new … [Read more...]

Appliance Choice For Cooking Frozen Stuffed Chicken is Problematic

Appliance choice for cooking frozen stuffed chicken products is problematic, according to a new report in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Frozen stuffed chicken products have been linked to Salmonella outbreaks in the past few years, including one in the summer of 2021, and given detailed cooking instructions on the package, these outbreaks are concerning. An internet panel was convened to find out how consumers are cooking these raw breaded stuffed chicken products, which are covered in browned breadcrumbs so they do appear to be fully cooked. More than one-half of these respondents said they used an appliance other than an oven to cook them. In fact, 29% said they used a microwave oven, even though labels warn against using that appliance. About 30% of … [Read more...]

Public Health Alert For Jet High Summer Sausage For Foreign Material

A public health alert has been issued for Jet High Summer Sausage and Fantasma's Summer Sausage because these products may be contaminated with foreign materials, more specifically pieces of plastic. A recall was not requested because these products are no longer available in stores for purchase. These plastic pieces pose a choking and mouth injury hazard. There have been no confirmed reports of any injuries or illnesses relating to the consumption of these products. The recalled fully cooked summer sausage products were produced on July 13, 2022. They include 1-pound chubs containing Jet High Prairie Meats Summer Sausage with the lot code 220715 printed on the label, and 1 pound chubs of Fantasma's finest Summer Sausage with the lot code 220715 on the label. You can see pictures … [Read more...]

Holiday Reminder: Raw Dough Can Contain Dangerous Pathogens

It's time for the annual holiday reminder: raw dough can contain dangerous pathogens. While most people know that eating raw eggs is risky, fewer know that uncooked flour is also a potential hazard. The FDA has been warning consumers about the potential dangers of raw eggs for decades. Eggs can carry Salmonella bacteria not only on the shell, but inside the egg itself. Hens can carry the pathogen in their ovaries, so the eggs are then contaminated from the inside out. Always handle raw eggs as if they are contaminated. Cook them thoroughly, and avoid recipes that use raw eggs. Eggs that are pasteurized are safe to eat raw, as long as you follow expiration dates. There have been outbreaks linked to raw, or uncooked flour, in the past few years. Flour is a raw agricultural product … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving Leftovers Must Be Discarded or Frozen Today

It's now four days after Thanksgiving, and that means that all leftovers from that holiday dinner must be discarded or frozen today, according to the USDA. Of course, this is assuming that you refrigerated that food promptly - within two hours of it coming out of the fridge or oven. Between the temperature range of 40°F to 140°F, bacteria numbers can double in foods every 20 minutes. And those pathogens can make toxins that aren't destroyed by heat. So even if you thoroughly reheat leftovers to 165°F, as you should every time, you may still get sick. That's why we stress prompt refrigeration of perishable foods, including meats, egg dishes, seafood, poultry, casseroles, and cooked vegetables. To freeze foods, store them in freezer bags or other containers in relatively small … [Read more...]

FDA Issues Final Rule on Food Traceability Under FSMA

The FDA has issued the final rule on food traceability under the Food Safety and Modernization Act of 2011 (FSMA). Traceability is the ability to identify foods that may be contaminated, especially if that food is suspected as being part of an outbreak. The rule establishes traceability record keeping requirements for anyone who manufacturers, processes, packs, or holds foods that are on the Food Traceability List. Companies and people subject to this rule must maintain records containing Key Data Elements associated with specific Critical Tracking Events. They must provide information to the FDA within 24 hours or some other time frame to which the FDA has agreed. Foods that are on the Food Traceability List include: cheeses other than hard cheeses, specifically soft and … [Read more...]

FDA Warns Companies Illegally Selling Foods Containing CBD

The FDA is warning five companies that are illegally selling foods containing CBD, a compound in marijuana. The FDA has not determined the safe dosage, especially for children and pregnant women. The warning letters were sent to these companies: 11-11-11 Brands Naturally Infused LLC Newhere Inc dba CBDFX Infusionz LLC CBD American Shaman, LLC The FDA says that these companies are selling CBD-containing products that consumers may think are traditional, which may result in unintentional consumption of overconsumption. Some of these products are appealing to children, including hard candies, cookies, and gummies. One drug containing CBD has been approved by the FDA; it is used to treat certain severe seizures disorders. The drug, Epidiolex, has benefits that … [Read more...]

Unsafe Ways to Prepare Your Thanksgiving Turkey

Did you know that there are unsafe ways to prepare your Thanksgiving turkey? While we have covered prepping and cooking the turkey safely, including proper thawing and roasting to the correct temperature, there are other physical parts to the preparation to think about. First of all, the method you use for cooking your turkey is important. You can roast the turkey, grill it, or deep fry it. Roasting is the most common method, and it is the safest, both in terms of food safety and physical safety. Grilling is the next safest, as long as you keep an eye on the bird, understand the risks of grilling such as fire and burns, and use a food thermometer. Just never use a grill in a covered area, not even a breezeway or the garbage because you risk carbon monoxide poisoning. But deep … [Read more...]

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