September 25, 2020

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...]

Bird Droppings Carry Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria, Cause Food Poisoning

Whenever there is a food poisoning outbreak linked to produce, we have told you that one source of the pathogen may be bird droppings. A new study conducted at Rice University and published in Elsevier journal Environmental Pollution states that bird droppings carry antibiotic resistant bacteria and may "harbor abundant" numbers of the pathogen along with resistance genes. The study was conducted by environmental engineers and led by postdoctoral research associate Pingfeng Yu of Rice's Brown School of Engineering and co-author Pedro Alvarez. Earlier studies showed that bird-borne antibiotic resistant genes (ARGs) and bacteria can be transferred to humans through these vectors: swimming, contact with bird feces or contaminated soil, and inhaling aerosolized fecal … [Read more...]

Fourth of July Food Safety Tips From the USDA to Avoid Illness

These Fourth of July food safety tips from the USDA will help you avoid foodborne illness this holiday weekend.  Because more people are staying at home and cooking at home, these tips are important. Dr. Mindy Brashears, the USDA's Under Secretary for Food Safety said in a statement, "Foodborne illness can increase during summer because of the warmer temperatures and extended time spent outside. You may not be grilling at the park this year, but instead you may be grilling at home. As we celebrate this Fourth of July holiday, I encourage consumers to use food safety steps to reduce their risk of illness." First, avoid cross-contamination between raw meats and poultry and foods that are eaten uncooked. Wash and sanitize all surfaces and utensils after they touch raw meats and … [Read more...]

Americans Using Bleach and Disinfectants Improperly, According to CDC

According to a study published in the CDC's Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report for June 5, 2020, many Americans are using bleach and disinfectants improperly during the coronavirus pandemic. Calls to poison centers regarding exposure to cleaners and disinfectants have increased during the pandemic. An internet panel survey found gaps in knowledge about the safe preparation, use, and storage of cleaners, bleaches, and disinfectants. One of the most striking items in the survey is that about 19% of American adults have used bleach to clean food. Overall, 39% of U.S. adults engaged in at least one high risk practice including washing food with bleach: they also said they applied household cleaning or disinfectant products to bare skin, or intentionally inhaled or ingested … [Read more...]

Pandemic Food Safety: Most Googled Recipes and Safety

We all know that during the coronavirus pandemic, more people are cooking at home out of necessity. Many people are cooking for themselves for the first time. And some of those people haven't been taught about food safety. CNBC's Make It section found the top 10 most-googled recipes during quarantine. And we are listing the food safety issues with some of those recipes. The top 10 recipes are for: banana bread, pancakes, chicken, pizza dough, brownie, Recette crepe, meatloaf, French toast, lasagna, and cheesecake. All of these recipes can make you sick if not prepared correctly. Baking Recipes The potential food safety issues with the baking recipes are with eggs and flour. Don't make any recipe that calls for eggs and isn't cooked or baked before eating. Eggs can be … [Read more...]

Do You Buy Food on Facebook? You May Want to Think Twice

You may or may not know this, but you can buy food through Facebook Marketplace. Sounds like a good idea in a time of potential food shortages, right? Maybe not. Food safety experts think that buying food from "opaque" Facebook posts may lead to consumers eating adulterated or contaminated  food. Some unscrupulous people may be selling adulterated food on Facebook, which is considered an "alternative channel" for sales because the food isn't necessarily inspected before it's shipped off to the buyer. Chris Elliott, professor of food safety at Queen's University in Belfast told The Grocer, "That's where I would go [to sell food]. I'm sure a lot of what's being sold on there is good, fine food, but I would say there's also a lot of fraud happening on that particular marketplace … [Read more...]

Prepare For Food Safety During Power Outages WIth Tips From the FDA

As the U.S. enters the hurricane and tornado season, the FDA is offering tips for helping consumers prepare for food safety during power outages. Food can spoil if the power is out for hours, but you can save money and protect yourself by following these steps. First, make sure that you have appliance thermometers in your refrigerator and freezer. That's the best way to tell if the temperature in those appliances is cold enough to keep food safe from bacterial growth. The freezer should always be at 0°F or below, and the refrigerator should always be at or below 40°F. Then, think about freezing containers of water to help keep foods cold in the freezer, refrigerator, or coolers when the power goes out. The melting ice will also provide drinking water if you use water from the … [Read more...]

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