November 26, 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...]

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...]

Do You Know How to Safely Store and Reheat Leftovers?

Now that fall is here and people are making more substantial food in larger quantities, it's time to think about the safe handling of food. Do you know how to safely store and reheat leftovers? Many cases of food poisoning may occur because leftovers are improperly handled. The first thing to know is that all leftover perishable foods should be refrigerated as early as possible after the food has finished cooking. The danger zone is between 40°F and 140°F. In that temperature range, bacteria can double every 20 minutes. So it's important to divide food into smaller quantities and put into shallow containers. Cut large pieces of meat into smaller pieces. Divide a big pot of soup into smaller containers. Cover and refrigerate within 2 hours. Then make sure that your refrigerator is … [Read more...]

Tips For Avoiding Botulism When Canning Foods at Home

Now that the first frost has occurred, the growing season is over in the upper Midwest. Many people are canning foods from their garden and those items purchased at farmers' markets. But you need to know these tips for avoiding botulism when canning foods at home. Canning means you are enclosing food in an anaerobic environment: there is little to no air inside the jars. When combined with low acid foods, such as asparagus, green beans, beets, corn, potatoes, some kinds of tomatoes, figs, meats, fish, and seafood, this creates the perfect environment for the growth of Clostridium botulinum spores. Like most pathogens and the toxins they produce, botulism toxin will not change the taste, appearance, texture, or aroma of food. And it takes just a tiny amount to cause paralysis and … [Read more...]

USDA Releases Consumer Info on Preparing Frozen Foods Safely

The USDA has released consumer information on preparing frozen foods safely. New research reveals that consumers may not know how to safely cook these foods, which can put families at risk of contracting a foodborne illness. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, consumers are preparing more foods at home. It's important that all cooks, especially beginners, read product labels so they understand how to properly prepare these frozen foods. Don't rely on appearance. Some foods are not fully cooked or ready to eat. That can cause confusion, especially if the food is breaded or if it has grill marks. In a recent USDA study, 22% of consumer's said that a not ready to eat frozen chicken entree was either cooked, partially cooked, or they weren't sure, when the entree was actually … [Read more...]

What You Need to Know About Chicken and Food Safety

Most people know that raw poultry, as well as raw meat and eggs, are potentially hazardous foods. These foods are often contaminated with pathogens that can make you very sick. If not handled and cooked properly, the risk of foodborne illness with these foods is quite high. This is what you need to know about chicken and food safety. Americans eat more chicken than any other meat. Outbreaks linked to chicken are common every year. The bird is often contaminated with Campylobacter and Salmonella bacteria, which is why about 1,000,000 people in the U.S. get sick from contaminated poultry every year. First, when shopping, buy chicken last. Double bag it at the store, then go home right away and refrigerate or freeze any chicken product. Don't make other stops or delay going … [Read more...]

September is National Food Safety Education Month

September is National Food Safety Education Month. There are about 48,000,000 cases of foodborne illness that occur every year in the United States, which leads to 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. You can help reduce these numbers by following basic food safety tips provided by the FDA. Food Poisoning Bulletin has written many pieces to help cooks learn about these tips and protect themselves and their families. These are the most important articles to help you during National Food Safety Education Month. Beginning Cooks: Learn About Potentially Hazardous Foods This collection will tell you about basic food safety in the kitchen, who is most at risk for complications from food poisoning, and the different foods that are most risky from the point of pathogen … [Read more...]

Keeping Food Safe During Severe Storms and Hurricanes

Hurricane season is here, and while the summer severe weather season is slowing down in the rest of the country, power outages and severe storms are common in the fall and winter. The USDA offers the Consumer's Guide to Food Safety during severe storms and hurricanes. The key to keeping food safe at any time of the year and during any severe weather event is preparation. Keep up to date on watches and warnings and start getting ready as far in advance as you can. First, keep an appliance thermometer in your fridge and freezer. The freezer should be set at 0°F, and the fridge should be set at 34 to 39°F. Freezers work best when they are at least half full. Group foods together in the freezer to help the food stay cold longer. It's a good idea to freeze container of water both … [Read more...]

Learn to Prepare Safe Lunches For Back to School By Following Rules

The USDA is helping parents learn to prepare safe lunches for back to school. Many schools are opening next week, so it's time to start planning for what your child will eat. While cafeteria workers take food safety training classes, parents do not. So it's important to learn the basic rules of safe food preparation: Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill. First, always wash your hands with soap and water before preparing food. Make sure the countertop is clean and that all of your utensils and surfaces are clean. Make sure to remind your children to wash their hands with soap and water before eating. And learn how to wash your hands correctly. Always keep raw meats, poultry, eggs, and seafood away from foods that are eaten raw. Using a separate cutting board for raw meats and … [Read more...]

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