November 27, 2020

Keep Thanksgiving Leftovers Safe With Tips From the USDA

Happy Thanksgiving! Keep Thanksgiving leftovers safe with tips from the USDA. Since the meal for this holiday is usually quite large, you will most likely have lots of leftovers, which must be stored properly to prevent food poisoning. The temperature danger zone for perishable foods is 40°F to 140°F. In that range, bacteria in foods can double every 20 minutes. First, remember the two hour rule. All perishable foods must be refrigerated within two hours of coming out of the oven or out of the fridge for serving. This time decreases to one hour if the ambient air temperature is above 90°F. To make sure that food cools down quickly and gets through the danger zone fast, divide food into smaller amounts and package in shallow containers. When you have stored the food in the … [Read more...]

Follow Thanksgiving Food Safety Steps from the CDC For a Safe Holiday

The CDC is offering Thanksgiving food safety steps for you to follow as you prepare this holiday dinner to stay safe. This Thanksgiving will be different, with fewer large gatherings and more people staying home to protect themselves against Covid-19. So avoid food poisoning, which is a major risk during the pandemic, with these tips. First, keep it clean. Always wash your hands with soap and water before you start to cook and eat. Make sure that food preparing surfaces and utensils are clean and sanitized before you start to cook. Think about sanitizing the sink and countertops before you bring out the food. You can use a commercial product or make your own by mixing 1 tablespoon liquid chlorine bleach with one gallon of warm water. For meal prep, make sure that you keep raw … [Read more...]

Organic Basil Recalled For Possible Cyclospora Contamination

Shenandoah Growers is recalling organic basil for possible cyclospora contamination. As part of the larger recall, Southeastern Grocers, the parent company of Winn Dixie, is recalling organic basil for the same reason. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem. The Shenandoah Growers recall includes those clamshells of certified organic basil marked with these specific lot codes that are printed on each package. The basil was distributed to retail stores between October 1, 2020 and October 30, 2020 to these states and locations: Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Washington DC. You can see the long list of recalled products at the FDA web site, along with package sizes, lot … [Read more...]

Study Finds Low Level Contamination on Farmers Market Food in CA

A study conducted by the University of California Davis has found that there is low level contamination on farmers market produce and meat in Northern California. While the bacterial level is low, there is still "cause for some concern." The study was published in the Journal of Food Protection. Researchers looked at the prevalence of Salmonella bacteria on meat and produce, as well as generic E. coli on produce, which indicates possible fecal contamination. Samples were taken from 44 certified Northern California farmers markets. They found that less than 2% of animal products sampled, including beef, poultry, and pork, teated positive for Salmonella, while all produce tested negative. But slightly more than 30% of produce did test positive for generic E coli. Lead author … [Read more...]

Unusual Holiday Cooking Tips During COVID-19 From the CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is offering some unusual holiday cooking tips during the COVID-19 pandemic. They state that, "Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that handling food or eating is associated with directly spreading COVID-19. It is possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object, including food, food packaging, or utensils that have the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. However, this is not thought to be the main way that the virus is spread." If you are hosting a small holiday gathering, think about these tips, and as always, follow basic food safety rules. You don't want to add food poisoning to the list of things we're already stressing over. First, encourage guests to … [Read more...]

What You Need to Know About Apple Cider Season and Food Poisoning

Every fall many family make trips to orchards to buy apple cider. But there are things you need to know about apple cider season and food safety, especially about unpasteurized fruit juices. There have been three food poisoning outbreaks linked to unpasteurized apple cider or juice in the last few years. Those outbreaks include a cryptosporidium outbreak in 2015 that was linked to apple cider that was sold and consumed at the Pike County Fall Color Drive in Illinois. At least 70 people were sickened in that outbreak, and several were hospitalized. Also in 2015, an E. coli O111 outbreak that sickened 13 people was linked to apple juice from High Hill Ranch. And in 2013, a cryptosporidium outbreak in Iowa was linked to unpasteurized apple cider. Eleven people were sickened in that … [Read more...]

FDA Stops Sales of Nano Silver as False COVID-19 Treatment

The FDA stops sales of Nano Silver as false COVID-19 treatment through a civil complaint for permanent injunction. The complaint was filed on November 13, 2020 in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. The U.S. is alleging that Natural Solutions Foundation sold and distributed a nano silver product that the defendants claim will "cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent COVID-19." Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark of the Justice Department’s Civil Division said in a statement,“The Department of Justice will not allow individuals to take advantage of the ongoing public health emergency by peddling unproven, unapproved drugs. We will continue to work closely with the Food and Drug Administration to halt the illegal sale of such products during this … [Read more...]

Planning Holiday Gatherings During the Pandemic? The CDC Has Tips

If you are planning holiday gatherings during the pandemic, the CDC has some timely tips. Right now, the coronavirus is spreading uncontrolled through most of the United States. Scientists were afraid this would happen as people got tired of social distancing and started to spend more time indoors. First of all, celebrating virtually is the safest way to spend the holidays. Only socialize with people in your household - that is, anyone who currently lives and shares common spaces in your home. Anyone who doesn't currently live with ou, including college students who are coming home for the holidays, are considered from other households. Second, if you are having and in-person holiday event, there are some things to this about. If the community levels of COVID-19 in your location, … [Read more...]

FDA Sues Valley Processing For Heavy Metal in Juice, Insanitary Conditions

According to press reports, the FDA is suing Valley Processing of Sunnyside, Washington because the company allegedly is not monitoring for toxic heavy metals in its juice products and producing under insanitary conditions. Valley Processing supplies juices to the national school lunch program. Three million servings of the company's juice products were distributed every year to the federal school lunch program. The lawsuit was filed November 6, 2020 in the U.S. District Court of Eastern Washington. The lawsuit states that the company allegedly ignored years of notifications from inspectors about issues that put kids at risk of consuming products that were "injurious to health." The company has agreed to a consent decree. The lawsuit states, "Defendants’ juice products are … [Read more...]

How Common Are E. coli O157:H7 Leafy Greens Outbreaks?

There are currently two active E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks in the United States that were announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this month. Neither has had a specific food, brand, store, or restaurant associated with it, although the FDA has hinted that one may be linked to a restaurant and one may be linked to leafy greens. How common are foodborne E. coli O157:H7 leafy green outbreaks? The CDC has a fact sheet on leafy greens that will shed light on this question and also helps consumers protect themselves against foodborne illness linked to those products. From 2014 to 2018 there have been 51 foodborne illness outbreaks linked to leafy greens. Five of those outbreaks were publicized by the government. Two of those five outbreaks were inked to packaged … [Read more...]

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