Posts Tagged ‘News’

Four Simple Rules to Help You Keep Your Food Safe

 

I always remind my clients that it’s very important to take care when preparing and consuming food to prevent food borne illness. This is especially important for groups at particularly high risk, such as older people, pregnant women, those with weakened immune systems, and young kids.

You too can be food smart by following four simple rules:

CLEAN

  • Wash your hands with hot, soapy water for 20 seconds before handling food, after using the bathroom, changing diapers, or handling pets.
  • After preparing each food item, wash utensils, and surfaces.
  • Use non-porous cutting boards and run them through the dishwasher after each use.
  • Always wash fruits and vegetables before eating or cooking them.

SEPARATE

  • Don’t cross contaminate which is how bacteria spreads from one food to another
  • Never allow raw beef, seafood or their juices to touch other foods.
  • Use different cutting boards for raw meat products.

COOK

  • Use a clean food thermometer to make sure foods have reached a safe internal temperature
  • Roasts and steaks should reach an internal temperature of 145degrees F and poultry should be cooked to 165 degrees.
  • Cook eggs until the yolk and white are firm.
  • Don’t use recipes in which eggs remain raw or partially cooked.
  • When microwaving, make sure there are no cold spots in food where bacteria can survive.
  • Always bring sauces, soups and gravies to a boil when reheating to a temperature of at least 165 degrees.

CHILL

  • For starters, ensure your refrigerator stays at least 40 degree or below. Your freezer should be 0 degrees or lower.
  • Never defrost food at room temperature. Thaw in the refrigerator, under cold running water, or in the microwave.
  • Don’t refreeze thawed food.
  • Divide large amounts of cook foods into small, shallow containers and cover loosely so that heat escapes.

Chef Lynn Ware is a private/personal chef, culinary educator, and food blogger. Chef Lynn offers: Corporate Cooking Classes, Group Cooking Parties, Private Cooking Lessons and Gourmet Catering. Contact Chef Lynn (ChefLynn@ChefLynn.com) for additional information.

Ever Wonder what the Recently Enacted Food Law Means for Us?

 

Over the past few years, several high-profile outbreaks related to various foods, from spinach and peanut products to eggs, have underscored the need to make continuous improvements in food safety.

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) which President Obama recently signed into law gives the FDA a mandate to pursue a system that is based on science and addresses hazards from farm to table, putting greater emphasis on preventing food-borne illness.

If you are like me, you may have wondered what some of the provisions are and how they will affect consumers. Well I decided to do some research and wanted to share with you some of the major provisions of the law below:

•Issuing recalls: In the past, the FDA had to rely on food manufacturers and distributors to recall food voluntarily. Now the FDA will have the authority to order a recall of food products.

•Conducting inspections: There will be more frequent inspections of foods and facilities that pose a greater risk to food safety.

•Importing food: Better enforcement of FDA’s ability to oversee food produced in foreign countries and imported into the United States. Also, FDA has the authority to prevent food from entering this country if the facility has refused U.S. inspection.

•Preventing problems: All Food facilities must have a written plan that spells out the possible problems that could affect the safety of their products. The plan would outline steps that the facility would take to help prevent those problems from occurring.

•Focusing on science and risk: The law establishes science-based standards for the safe production and harvesting of fruits and vegetables. This is an important step forward. These standards will consider both natural and man-made risks to the safety of fresh produce.

•Respecting the role of small businesses and farms: The law also provides some flexibility, such as exemptions from the produce safety standards for small farms that sell directly to consumers at a roadside stand or farmer’s market as well as through a community supported agriculture program (CSA).

Let’s all hope that this law will take the critical steps toward strengthening the food safety system that is vital to the health and security of all of us.

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