January 29, 2020

Who Is Most at Risk For Complications from Food Poisoning?

With all of the recalls, warnings, studies, and outbreak notices we publish, we hope that people who are in populations most at risk for food poisoning and their families are paying attention. But who is most at risk for complications from food poisoning? There are certain populations who have more of a chance of becoming seriously ill if they contract food poisoning infections. Those people, and their families, need to be extra careful to make sure the food they eat is safe and free from contamination. They include the elderly (over age 65), the very young (under the age of 5), pregnant women, people with chronic health problems such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, and those with chronic suppressed immune systems. Families of these groups need to be especially careful to … [Read more...]

Check Out These Game Day Food Safety Tips From the CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is offering game day food safety tips to keep your football watching and Super Bowl parties safe for family and friends. If you are offering a buffet of foods to guests, these rules are even more important. First, always wash your hands before preparing food. In addition, wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and countertops. Clean fruits and vegetables under running water before cutting into them so bacteria on the peel doesn't get onto the flesh. Make sure that all meats, poultry, and egg dishes are cooked to safe final internal temperatures. All chicken products should be cooked to 165°F. Egg dishes and ground meats (except for ground chicken and turkey, which should be cooked to 165°F) should reach 160°F. And always use a … [Read more...]

Having a New Year’s Eve Party? Here’s How to Host a Safe Buffet

If you're having a New Year's Eve party or an open house for New Year's Day, the FDA is offering tips on how to host a safe buffet. The most important tip is to watch the time. Perishable foods should be refrigerated after two hours out at room temperature. Also, keep buffet serving portions small. You can keep hot food in the oven set at 200°F to 250°F while you are waiting for more guests to arrive. Discard food that's been out for more than two hours, wash the serving dishes, and fill with fresh food. Cold back up dishes should be stored in the fridge until you need to refill platters and bowls. Hot foods should be kept at an internal temperature that is at least 140°F. The danger zone for rapid bacterial growth is 40°F to 140°F. Even if you are keeping hot food on a warmer, … [Read more...]

CDC Offers Holiday Food Safety Tips to Keep You Safe

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is offering holiday food safety tips. Cooking for a crowd is different from cooking for a family, and your guests may include people who are high risk groups for foodborne illness complications. First, make sure you always cook food thoroughly. Print out cooking temperature charts for meat, poultry, fish, and eggs and post them in your pantry. And always use a reliable and accurate food thermometer to test foods before you serve them. Roasts, chops, steaks, and fresh ham should rest for 3 minutes after they are removed from the grill or oven so the temperature can rise. Remember that the "danger zone" for food is between 40°F and 140°F, where bacteria grow rapidly. In fact, bacterial counts can double every 20 minutes at those … [Read more...]

FDA Sends Warning Letter to Friendly’s Ice Cream

The FDA has sent a warning letter to Friendly's, maker of ready-to-eat ice cream products, syrups, and fudge, about the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in their processing facility. There is zero tolerance for Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat foods. The FDA inspected the company's facility from July 278, 2019 to August 20, 2019. Inspectors found "serious violations of the Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food regulation (CGMP & PC rule), Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 117 (21 CFR part 117)," according to the letter. Environmental samples revealed Listeria monocytogenes in the facility. That strain matches bacteria found during the FDA's 2017 inspection. And the letter states,"The presence of … [Read more...]

Giving Food for Christmas? Get These Meal Kit Food Safety Tips

Meal kits, mail-order food, and home-delivered groceries are very popular gifts this time of year. If you are giving one of these gifts to someone, there are some meal kit food safety tips you need to know from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Perishable foods always need to stay at a safe temperature to prevent bacterial growth that could make someone sick. I have personal experience with this: [Editor's note: I ordered cheese fondue from a company recently and it was not delivered with an ice pack or in an insulated container, but in a regular cardboard box. I threw it away.] Here's what you need to know about meal kit food safety tips. Always ask questions about the company's food safety standards. If you are buying for someone who is in a high risk group … [Read more...]

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...]

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