December 14, 2019

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...]

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...]

CDC Offers Tips For a Fun and Safe Halloween

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is offering consumers tips for a fun and safe Halloween. They use the words "Safe Halloween" to make it easy to remember these tips. If your costume includes swords, knives or other accessories, they should be Short, soft, and flexible. Do not trick-or-treat Alone. Go in groups or with a trusted adult. Make sure your costume is reflective, or add reFlective tape to your apparel or bags so drivers can see you. All parents should Examine all treats for choking hazards and any sign of tampering before letting kids eat them. Hold a flashlight while you're out and about so others can see you. Always test make-up in a small area first; some can cause allergic reactions in some people. Remove it before bedtime. Look both ways … [Read more...]

USDA Study: Bacteria From Raw Chicken Transferred to Salads

A recent study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has found that consumers put themselves at risk of serious illness by washing or rinsing raw poultry.  Bacteria from raw chicken is easily transferred to other surfaces. This common practice used to be recommended in cookbooks. But research has found that rinsing raw poultry aerosolizes the bacteria and the pathogens can spread up to three feet away from the faucet. In addition, the sink will most likely be contaminated. Dr. Mindy Brashears, the USDA's Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety said in a statement, "During this year’s study, 26 percent of participants that washed raw poultry transferred bacteria from that raw poultry to their ready to eat salad lettuce. Fortunately, small changes in the kitchen can … [Read more...]

Food and Water Safety Advice For Those in Hurricane Dorian’s Path

The FDA is offering food and water safety advice for those in Hurricane Dorian's path. The hurricane is making its way up the eastern coast of the United States this week. Hurricane warnings have been posted for the coasts of both North and South Carolina. When the power goes out, consumers need to take special precautions to make sure that the food stored in their homes remains safe. First, keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. The fridge will keep food cold for about four hours, and a full freezer will keep the temperature low for about 48 hours if the door stays closed. Dry and block ice can be used to keep food safe for longer periods of time. Fifty pounds of dry ice will keep an 18 cubic foot, fully stocked freezer cold for two days. Flooding … [Read more...]

Back to School Food Safety For Bag Lunches From the USDA

It's back to school time, and that means kids are going to be bringing bag lunches to school. Did you know that if those bags contain perishable foods, they must be handled and stored properly? The USDA has tips to help you keep your child safe.   Harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria monocytogenes, multiply quickly in the Danger Zone temperature range of 40 °F and 140°F; that includes room temperature. Perishable foods that are held without an ice source, or without refrigeration, won't stay safe to eat for long. So here's what to do. First, all perishable foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, and eggs, must be kept cold at all times. When you're at the store, buy those foods last, go home immediately, and refrigerate them immediately. No perishable … [Read more...]

USDA Reiterates: Don’t Wash That Chicken!

The USDA is reiterating its advice about washing chicken: Don't do it! A new study found that people are risking illness when they wash or rinse poultry. Dr. Mindy Brashears, the USDA's Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety said, "Cooking and mealtime is a special occasion for all of us as we come together with our families and friends. However, the public health implications of these findings should be of concern to everyone. Even when consumers think they are effectively cleaning after washing poultry, this study shows that bacteria can easily spread to other surfaces and foods. The best practice is not to wash poultry." The observational study found how easily bacteria can be spread when surfaces are not effectively cleaned and sanitized. Rinsing poultry under running water … [Read more...]

Keep Your Backyard Barbecue Safe From Staphylococcus With Tips

The USDA is offering tips to help keep your backyard barbecue safe from Staphylococcus aureus bacteria this summer.  Cooking outdoors presents special challenges, including grilling food to a safe internal temperature, and higher ambient temperatures. The press release focuses on Staphylococcus aureus, which sickens about 240,000 Americans every year. About 1,000 of those patients need to be hospitalized, and about six people die every year. A USDA scientist developed a test that detects the pathogen in foods, which is faster, more sensitive, and less expensive than other standardized tests. Reuven Rasooly, a chemist with the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) said in a statement, "The current test detects active toxin only 50 percent of the time compared to the test, … [Read more...]

Keep Your Fourth of July Celebration Safe With Tips From USDA

Keep your Fourth of July celebration safe with tips on food safety from the USDA. Cooking outside and hosting parties pose unique food safety challenges. Millions of Americans contract some form of food poisoning even year, leading to 3,000 deaths. Before you start preparing food, wash your hands. This is the simplest way to stop the spread of pathogens around your kitchen. Use soap and water and lather for at least 20 seconds. Dry with a clean towel or paper towel. Always wash your hands immediately after you handle meat and poultry. Make sure that you cook all meats, poultry, fish, and egg dishes to safe final internal temperature, and check that temp with a reliable food thermometer. Cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and veal should e cooked to 145°F with a three minute rest time. … [Read more...]

Texas A&M Studying Super-Repellent Surfaces For Food Safety

Texas A&M Agrilife Research and the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station were awarded a grant from the USDA to study and develop super-repellent and anti-fouling surfaces for foods. These types of surfaces could be used to help ensure the safety of fresh food products. Dr. Luis Cisneros-Zevallos, AgriLife Research food science and co-principal investigator for the project said in a statement, "There is a need to reduce those outbreaks associated with microbial contamination that may take place in different operations along the fresh produce chain. The surfaces we are designing avoid cross-contamination and reduce the risk of biofilm formation.” Some bacteria, such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria monocytogenes, can develop biofilms that help protect them from … [Read more...]

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