May 27, 2024

Memorial Day Food Safety Tips From USDA to Stay Safe

These Memorial Day food safety tips from the USDA will help you and your family stay safe this summer. Summer cooking and parties are prime time for possible food poisoning cases for several reasons. Warmer temperatures and outdoor picnics, parties, and grilling pose special challenges. Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Emilio Esteban said in a statement, "The bacteria that cause foodborne illness love the summertime as much as we do because they thrive and multiply quickly in warmer temperatures. This causes illnesses to spike during the summer. As we all spend more time outside, it is important to remember these food safety steps to keep your friends and family safe." First, always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before you start cooking and eating. If safe … [Read more...]

Keep Spring Holiday Meals Safe With Tips From the USDA

Keep spring holiday meals safe with tips from the USDA. This year, the three major holidays of Easter, Eid, and Passover are all happening in early spring. USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Emilio Esteban said in a statement, "The holiday season is a special time to gather with friends and family and enjoy traditional meals, Whether you’re celebrating your Easter dinner with ham, Eid lunch with lamb, or Seder meal with brisket, remember to keep food safety at the forefront." Food safety is especially important when you have people with varied health statuses and ages at your spring holiday meals table, because some of those people are more susceptible to serious complications from food poisoning. In addition, some foods must be prepared early, which extends the time for … [Read more...]

Learn About Sausages and Food Safety From the USDA

Learn about sausages and food safety from the USDA, with tips on buying, storing, and cooking this type of meat product. Sausages are sold either uncooked or ready-to-eat. This information will be clearly marked on the product package. Types of Sausages There are two broad categories of sausage: ready to eat and uncooked. Ready to eat sausages are dry, semi-dry, and/or cooked. Dry sausages can be smoked, unsmoked, or cooked. Semi-dry sausages are typically heated in the smokehouse to partially dry and fully cook the product. Cooked sausages, such as bologna and frankfurters, are cooked and may also be smoked. Uncooked sausages are raw and must be cooked to a safe final internal temperature before eating. Deciphering the Label The label on all sausage products will give you  the … [Read more...]

Get Super Bowl Delivery and Takeout Food Safety Advice

Get Super Bowl delivery and takeout food safety advice from the USDA to keep your guests safe from food poisoning at your party. There are special rules for handling takeout and delivery foods. If you ordered takeout or Super Bowl delivery foods the day before the game, make sure that someone is available to get the food inside your home and into the fridge in a timely manner. All food that is not going to be eaten immediately should be refrigerated. If you ordered the food for delivery the day of your party, refrigerate cold foods if it's more than two hours before it's time to eat. You may want to reheat foods before serving. If you are serving food to groups, the two hour rule is critical. Perishable foods cannot be in the danger zone of 40°F to 140°F for more than two hours. … [Read more...]

Keep Pets Safe From Holiday Hazards With Tips From FDA

Keep pets safe from holiday hazards with these tips from the FDA. There are many smells, sights, and sounds that may be unfamiliar to curious dogs and cats this time of year, and some can be hazardous to your pet's health. Salt dough ornaments and homemade play dough can be fatal to pets if eaten. The high salt content is the concern. Make sure that you warn your children to keep these items away from your dog or cats as well. One cup of salt is 48 teaspoons. A pet that weighs 10 pounds can get sick after eating just 1/2 teaspoon of table salt. A 1-1/2 teaspoon dose can be fatal. Tinsels and ribbons are also problematic. The sparkly and wiggly items look like prey, and they can cause serious stomach and intestinal damage to dogs and cats. Keep tinsel off the tree and collect all … [Read more...]

Store Thanksgiving Leftovers Safely to Stay Healthy

After the holidays, one of the best things is having lots of great leftovers to eat. But you need to store Thanksgiving leftovers safely to stay healthy. Here are some rules to follow from Food Food safety starts as soon as you take the food out of the oven or the refrigerator to serve it. Make sure that all perishable foods, which include meats, cheeses, cut fruits and vegetables, and casseroles, are put into the fridge or freezer within two hours. That time period shrinks to one hour if the ambient air temperature is above 90°F. Divide the food into smaller portions so it cools quickly. A whole turkey or a large casserole will take too long to cool down, meaning it can stay in the danger zone of 40°F to 140°F too long. In that temperature range, pathogenic bacteria … [Read more...]

Alternate Turkey Preparation Methods From the USDA

The USDA is offering tips on alternate turkey preparation methods for the Thanksgiving holiday. If you choose to prepare turkey other than roasting it in the oven, read carefully to avoid food poisoning or injuries. Whatever method you use, make sure that the turkey reaches 165°F, a temperature that must be read with a reliable and accurate thermometer. First, do not cook the turkey in brown paper bags from the grocery store. That product can emit toxic fumes and may cause a fire. The ink, glue and recycled materials in brown paper bags are especially toxic. Electric Roaster Oven If you choose to use an electric roaster oven, the cooking times and temperatures should be the same as in a conventional oven. But always read the user manual for the manufacturer's instructions. The … [Read more...]

Learn How to Cook Turkey Stuffing Safely From the USDA

Learn how to cook turkey stuffing safely with tips from the USDA. Turkey stuffing is risky because it's a large mass of food cooked inside the bird, so getting the mixture to a safe final internal temperature of 165°F, especially in the center, is tricky. The USDA recommends that you do not cook your stuffing inside of the turkey, especially if your guests fall into groups that are at high risk for serious complications from food poisoning. Put the stuffing, or dressing, into a casserole dish and bake it along with the turkey. The dressing must still reach 165°F, tested with a reliable and accurate food thermometer. If you do decide to stuff the turkey, there are some rules to follow. First, never stuff the turkey ahead of time. Bacteria can multiply and grow in the stuffing … [Read more...]

Safely Thaw Your Thanksgiving Turkey With USDA Tips

Learn yow to safely thaw your Thanksgiving turkey with these timely tips from the USDA. If you bought a frozen turkey, now is the time to start thawing it so it's ready to cook on the big day. It's critical that you learn this fact: never ever thaw your turkey, or any frozen food, at room temperature unless the package specifically states that it's safe to do so. If you thaw meat products, especially, at room temperature, the product will sit at the danger zone of 40°F to 140°F for too long. And bacterial counts double in amount every hour in that temperature range. Since bacteria can produce toxins as they grow that are not destroyed by heat, cooking a contaminated turkey may not make it safe to eat. And you could get sick. The USDA says that one of the most common question … [Read more...]

Should You Buy a Fresh or Frozen Turkey For Thanksgiving?

Should you buy a fresh or frozen turkey for Thanksgiving? That holiday is next week. The USDA has some tips to make sure you have a safe and healthy dinner. Turkeys are sold both fresh and frozen. You can often order the type and size of turkey that you want ahead of time, but if you haven't done this, you  need to make some decisions. Food safety is critical at all times, of course, but holiday dinners are special. You may have elderly guests at your dinner, or a pregnant woman, or small children, or someone with a chronic illness or compromised immune system. In that case, you must be very careful to make sure that the food you serve is completely safe to eat. And turkey storage and preparation play a large part in food safety. Here's what the USDA says about which type of … [Read more...]

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