December 5, 2016

The Food Safety of Storing Holiday Leftovers

Food temperature plays a key role in preparing, serving and storing food safely.  To store holiday leftovers safely, follow these tips from the the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Why is this important? The number of bacteria on food sitting at room temperature can double in 20 minutes. Food poisoning from these bacteria can cause serious, sometimes life-threatening illness. Food that has been left at room temperature for more than two hours is not safe to eat. The first step: buy some thermometers. It's impossible to know if your food is being cooked to a safe temperature or stored at a safe temperature without them. You can buy food thermometers and thermometers for your refrigerator and freezer at grocery stores, hardware stores and discount retailers. Refrigerated … [Read more...]

CSPI Publishes Consumer Guide to Safer Food

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has published a consumer guide to safer food called From Supermarket to Leftovers. The booklet is available from NutritionAction.com. Every year, 48,000,000 Americans get sick from contaminated food. Three thousand Americans die from foodborne illness every year. Since contaminated food is getting into our homes, even though farmers and food processors are responsible for selling food that doesn't make us sick, it's up to the consumer to be the last line of defense. Sarah Klein, senior food safety attorney for CSPI wrote the booklet and calls her strategy "defensive eating". Some of the information in the book includes advice about the last item you should put in your grocery cart (seafood), what produce to seek out (local or … [Read more...]

Store and Use Leftover Food Safely

Michigan State University Extension is offering tips for storing and using leftover food safely. If not handled properly, leftover food can become a vehicle for food poisoning. Always wash hands with soap and water before handling cooked food, especially food you are going to store to eat later. Always use clean utensils to handle this food. Store it in clean containers. Don't put the food back into the same container it was in before cooking, unless it has been thoroughly washed with soap and water. And sanitize cutting boards and counters. Leftovers should be stored in small, shallow containers, less than three inches in height. Always cover leftover containers. Don't stack containers, but leave some air space around them so the cold air can circulate. Don't use large, deep … [Read more...]

Leftover Rice Could be as Dangerous as Raw Eggs

Did you know that foods other than raw eggs and raw meats present a food poisoning hazard? Cooked rice is one of those foods. The Food Standards Agency is warning consumers that reheated rice is a food safety hazard. Uncooked rice can contain bacterial spores. When the rice is cooked, the spores survive. When cooked rice stands at room temperature, the spores will become active and produce toxins. Those toxins may not be destroyed by heat, so when you eat the reheated rice, you will get sick. The longer rice is left at room temperature, the more likely the toxins will be produced. When you make rice, cool it within one hour after it finishes cooking. Divide the rice into smaller portions and place in shallow contains; refrigerate immediately. The cooked rice should be kept in the … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving Leftovers and Food Safety

The USDA is reminding consumers that turkey leftovers should be frozen after three or four days in the refrigerator. That means if you have any turkey left over from Thanksgiving dinner, it should be in the freezer by Monday. Correctly refrigerating all leftovers is critical to preventing foodborne illness. The bacteria in food left at room temperature for more than two hours double in number every 20 minutes. And some bacteria produce a toxin while they are growing that isn't destroyed by heat. Leaving food out at room temperature is one of the main causes of foodborne illness. It's also important to cool food rapidly to below 40 degrees F. Large amounts of food (such as the turkey) should be divided into smaller pieces and refrigerated as soon as possible. When you're storing other … [Read more...]

Food Safety Tips For Storing Leftovers

Ever wonder about those leftovers in your fridge? You're not alone. Because so many people have questions about the proper way to store leftovers, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has compiled some tips. One key tool for safe food storage is an appliance thermometer. These can be purchased at hardware or home improvement stores. Keep the refrigerator at 40 °F or below and the freezer at 0 °F or below. Before putting food into the fridge, make sure it is clean.  Wash shelves and drawers, discard expired items.  If you aren't sure about something, don't sniff it, just throw it out. Make cleaning out the fridge part of your kitchen cleaning routine.  Always wipe up spills right away. Make sure you are not putting spoiled food into the fridge. This would include perishable … [Read more...]

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