Archive for the ‘Food & Beverage’ Category
Food poisoning is not simply an upset stomach; it is a serious public health threat in America. In fact, the CDC estimates that about 1 in 6 Americans (about 48 million people) could suffer from a food-borne illness this year. The result is approximately 128,000 hospitalizations and sadly, an estimated 3,000 deaths!
Because warm weather events often present an opportunity for bacteria to thrive and high temperatures cause bacteria to multiply more rapidly, the summer months typically see a spike in reports of food-borne illness and outbreaks.
Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of families are not using a food thermometer regularly to check the temperature of meat and poultry and one-third (33 percent) are not using different or freshly cleaned cutting boards to prevent cross-contamination between different food products (such as raw meat and produce).
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Seeing Is Believing”? Guess what? Seeing ISN’T Believing! Too many people think that just because your cheeseburger is brown in the middle, that it’s done. Unless you are a human food thermometer, looking at the color and texture of food is not enough to tell if it has been properly cooked.
According to USDA research, 1 out of every 4 hamburgers turns brown before it reaches a safe internal temperature. Meat and poultry should be cooked to a safe temperature to destroy harmful bacteria that may be present. Color of meat and poultry is not a good indicator of safety. Use a food thermometer to make sure meats have reached a safe minimum internal temperature. When a hamburger is cooked to 160 F, it is both safe and delicious!
Top Tips for Healthy Summer Picnics and Camping Trips:
Bring water for cleaning if none will be available at the picnic or camping site. Pack clean, wet, disposable cloths or moist towelettes and paper towels for cleaning hands and surfaces.
Carry cold perishable food like raw hamburger patties, sausages, and chicken in an insulated cooler packed with several inches of ice, frozen gel packs, or containers of ice.
Be sure raw meat and poultry are wrapped securely to prevent their juices from cross-contaminating ready-to-eat food. If possible, store these foods near the bottom of the cooler, so that juices don’t contaminate other foods in the cooler.
If you can’t keep hot food hot during the drive to your location, plan and chill the food in the refrigerator before packing it in a cooler. Reheat the food to 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer.
A general rule of thumb for entertaining: keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Keep cold foods chilled to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below and hot foods heated to 140 degrees Fahrenheit or above.
The two-hour rule is also in effect: food should not sit at room temperature for more than two hours. If bringing hot take-out food (like chicken fingers, wings etc.), eat it within 2 hours of purchase (1 hour if the temperature is above 90 °F).
Instead of using large serving bowls, serve dips and items with dairy in smaller containers. Make several in advance and keep them chilled in the refrigerator or coolers until you need them.
Offer serving spoons and small plates to reduce opportunity for guests to eat items like dip and guacamole directly from the serving container (double-dipping is a no-no and can increase the chances for food contamination).
Visit FoodSafety.govto learn about best food safety practices, utilize “Ask Karen,” an online database with nearly 1,500 answers to specific questions related to preventing foodborne illnesses, in both English and Spanish, or to call the USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline. Also, check out USDA’s tips for Safe Grilling
JOIN US FOR A FOOD SAFETY TWITTER PARTY!
DATE: June 30
TIME: 1:00 PM EST
HOSTS:@martieparty @buzzmommy @usdafoodsafety
Disclosure: This post was made possible through the support of Element Associates. All opinions are my own.
Disclosure: I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for National Dairy Council and the LACTAID®Brand. I received product coupons from the LACTAID® Brand to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
The amount of dairy that I used to eat was ridiculous. I absolutely love milk, cheese, and of course, ice cream. Somewhere around my 31st birthday, I developed a slight sensitivity to dairy products. I would like to thank my Mom for this since she can’t drink milk. Thanks Mom!
It’s difficult to change your way of eating when it’s something you have done for 30 years. All I could think was, how will I every survive! At one point I thought I might die from malnutrition. Okay so maybe I am exaggerating just a tiny bit but, it sure did feel that way at the time. Like most of my generation, we grew up drinking milk with every meal. Soda was never an option except for “special” occasions. Unless I am eating out, I drink milk with just about every meal.
We all love our dairy. How would most women survive without ice cream and butter? Statistics have shown that many Americans consumption of things like whole milk and butter have declined. However, the increase of cheese and ice cream have gone up. Swapping out one high fat food for another are we? Sure we are but sometimes, who cares!
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One of the hobbies that I have taken on, in the past few years, is chocolate making. I love the look on the kids faces when they get to bring really cool, homemade, lollipops to school for their friends. Chocolate making is really not a difficult thing to do but, depending on how detailed you want to be, it can become a headache quickly.
Yolli Confectionery tools has everything you need to begin your chocolate making adventure. The fun part is, you are only limited by your imagination. You can get chocolate in almost any color and molds for almost any theme. I happen to have over 300 chocolate molds at the moment so I have made a lot of Lollipops over the years. Last year I had 4 of my friends hire me to make chocolates for events that they were having. Who doesn’t love to have fun and get paid for it too?
NEW FOR 2014
Love Bacon? Like I even need to ask that? Love Big Mac sauce? Then you’re going to love this! McDonald’s has introduced a new item to their menu. The McDonalds Bacon Clubhouse Sandwich features a new soft artisan roll, caramelized grilled onions, applewood-smoked bacon, white cheddar, lettuce, tomatoes, and oh yeah … Big Mac sauce! The Bacon Clubhouse is available as a burger or chicken sandwich (grilled or crispy).
The thing that I found interesting about this sandwich is, I hate onions. I can tolerate them if the are cut up very fine but not any other way usually. I didn’t like that the caramelized grilled onions were under the chicken on mine. It made the bread soggy too quickly. I am trying to choke this up to the fact that my “burger artist” did a poor assembly job. My sons didn’t look quite as bad.
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