April 6, 2020

Do You Know How to Identify Unsafe Restaurant Foods?

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, many restaurants in America are closed. While experts believe this virus isn't transmitted through food, many foods can contain pathogenic bacteria that can make you very sick. Some of those facilities are still offering takeout and delivery service. Do you know how to identify¬†unsafe restaurant foods? After all, restaurants are the most common source of food poisoning outbreaks. Before you order, check out restaurant inspection scores at the health department website in your state or county. Not all states post these inspection results, but many do. Avoid ordering food from any restaurant that has poor inspection results. Always order food that is cooked to a safe final internal temperature. Some foods, including ground meats, chicken, … [Read more...]

Consumer Reports Letter to USDA Outlines Recommendations For Safety

Consumer Reports letter to USDA outlines recommendations to ensure the safety of food products during the COVID-19 pandemic. This emergency has put pressure on the food chain, and personnel numbers have dwindled as more shelter in place orders have been put in place.   The agency wants the USDA to commit to several points that Consumer Reports thinks will ensure the safety and availability of food during this time. First, the USDA should publicize the number of USDA-FSIS personnel testing positive or getting sick with the symptoms of COVID-19 as they occur. Consumers deserve to know that the number of inspectors may be dwindling as the pandemic continues. Second, they want USDA to ensure that food inspectors and workers are safe. Many food production jobs are … [Read more...]

Tips For Handling Raw Chicken to Avoid Food Poisoning

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released information about handling raw chicken to avoid food poisoning. Raw chicken is often contaminated with pathogens such as Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Clostridium perfringens. About a million Americans get sick with food poisoning after eating improperly prepared chicken every year. To prevent food poisoning from chicken, there are some things you can do. First, when you're shopping, put any raw poultry in a disposable bag before placing it in your shopping cart. Refrigerate the poultry promptly when you get home. Wash your hands with warm soapy water for 20 seconds after handling raw chicken. And never even rinse or wash raw chicken. The water can cause the bacteria on the chicken to aerosolize and spread it … [Read more...]

Consumer Reports On If There Is a Link Between Coronavirus and Food

Consumer Reports has asked experts on food safety about any link between coronavirus and food. There is currently no evidence that it is transmitted via food, accord to Dr. Donald Schaffner, a distinguished professor in the department of food science at Rutgers University. Authorities in this field agree. The CDC, FDA, Department of Agriculture, and the World Health Organization all say that food is not a known source of transmission. Still, everyone needs to practice good food safety habits: Wash your hands thoroughly when working with food. Prevent cross-contamination. Clean utensils and surfaces as you work. Cook food to safe final internal temperatures. And refrigerate leftovers promptly. You really don't want to get a foodborne illness now, when hospitals are nearing … [Read more...]

Environmental Working Group Dirty Dozen Produce Guide Published

Environmental Working Group (EWG) has published their 2020 guide to the Dirty Dozen, which is a list of fruits and vegetables that are likely to have the most pesticide residue. The biggest change is EWG comment on raisins, which were not on the list but were mentioned for the first time. Raisins were tested for the first time since 2007 even though it's not a fresh food. That food is the dirtiest produce commodity. Of the 670 samples of conventional raisins analyzed, 99% tested positive for at least two pesticides. On average, each sample was contaminated with more than 13 pesticides. One sample had 26 pesticides. Even some organic raisins were contaminated. The issue with this food is that children under the age of 15 eat 208,000,000 pounds of raisins every year, about half of the … [Read more...]

Protect Yourself Against Coronavirus When Food Shopping

Everyone is worried about coronavirus and wants to know how to protect themselves and their family. We all know about social distancing and washing our hands frequently. Food Poisoning Bulletin has also told you how to protect yourself when receiving packages and food deliveries at home. But how do you protect yourself against coronavirus when food shopping? Consumer Reports has some answers. First, be aware that many grocery store chains and restaurants are offering delivery options and curbside pickup, which helps limit your exposure to others at this time. If you are picking things up, open the car door yourself. It's best to avoid a direct hand-off; instruct the delivery person to put the groceries at your door or in your car. But if you have to go into a store to get food, … [Read more...]

Coronavirus Pandemic Food Delivery: How You Can Protect Yourself

The coronavirus pandemic is changing the way Americans eat. Many more people eat at restaurants, take out food, or have it delivered than cook in their own kitchens. But with the news that the virus can survive on surfaces, especially plastic and cardboard, for days, is coronavirus pandemic food delivery safe? The FDA and USDA insist that the U.S. food supply is safe, and there are no cases of transmission through food or food packaging. But with new information coming out about this pathogen every day, it pays to think about things like food containers and transmission. After all, a few weeks ago experts didn't think the virus could be transmitted by touching a contaminated surface; that has changed. Viability of the virus on fomites, which are surfaces such as plastic handles … [Read more...]

Fecal-Oral Transmission of COVID-19 Is Possible, But Not Likely

A new study has found that fecal-oral transmission of COVID-19 is possible, but not likely. The research was conducted in China. It must be stressed: this type of transmission is theoretically possible, since viruses can enter the GI tract and survive in feces, but no cases of infection via this route have been identified. All cases diagnosed so far have been through inhaling droplets containing the virus. This is not a likely vehicle for transmission, but people should know about it. This new information is concerning because it brings food into the COVID-19 pandemic. The fecal-oral route of transmission means that when a person who is infected with a bacteria or virus goes to the bathroom, gets a tiny amount of feces on their fingers, and doesn't wash their hands, then touches … [Read more...]

Is the Coronavirus Pandemic Forcing You to Cook? Learn About Food Safety

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our lives in just about every way. From stores and restaurants closing to practicing social distancing, everyone is being forced to learn new habits and new ways of living. Is the coronavirus pandemic forcing you to cook? ¬†This is a great time to learn about food safety. In 2015, for the first time, Americans started spending more of their food budget on restaurant meals than grocery stores. While some groups will always cook from scratch, many people just don't do that anymore. So it's crucial that you learn about food safety as you are just starting to cook. You don't want to get food poisoning when hospitals are overwhelmed with pandemic patients, or any other time for that matter. Home cooks are the last line of defense against food … [Read more...]

Gross Food Neews: New Disposable Gloves Contain Feces and Pathogens

It's time to bring back Gross Food Neews, our look at issues and problems in the food industry that are, well, gross. The topic today is those disposable gloves food handlers use to prevent the spread of bacteria. And the startling finding that some of these new disposable gloves contain feces and bacteria. There have always been issues with the uses of these gloves. I have seen workers use the gloves while working the cash register and handling money, then going right back to handling food without changing their gloves. The point of the gloves is that you put on new ones when you complete a chore and go back to food handling. But now there's a new wrinkle. Microbial testing of new and unused microbial gloves, conducted by Eagle Protect PBC, has found that some new unused … [Read more...]

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