Hunting season is in full gear for a variety of wildlife. Whether you are a new or experienced hunter, safety is key in many aspects, including food safety.
The handling of the meat from harvest to preparation can make a major difference in flavor and safety of the end product. Here are some resources from North Dakota State University Extension called the “Wild Side of the Menu.”
Wild Side of the Menu No. 2—Preservation of Game Meats and Fish—Recommendations for safely preserving game meats and fish for later enjoyment. Freezing meat and fish is the most accepted way to maintain top quality. Other methods for preserving game meats include curing and smoking, drying, corning, canning and sausage making. Fish also may be pickled or canned.
Wild Side of the Menu No. 3—Field to Freezer—Wild game that is properly handled in the field and correctly cooked to enhance its distinctive flavors holds a special place for many cooks. The purpose of this publication is to describe how to properly handle your game from harvesting through processing.
When shopping the frozen food case, be aware that not all frozen foods are prepared the same. Don’t assume that all frozen foods are equal when it comes to preparing them for consumption.
Consumers may not know that some frozen foods are not fully cooked or ready to eat, especially if they have browned breading, grill marks or other signs that normally show that a product has been cooked. In a recent FSIS observational study, 22 percent of participants said a not-ready-to-eat frozen chicken entrée was either cooked, partially cooked, or they weren’t sure that the product was in fact raw.
The best advice is to read the cooking or preparation instructions on the package. This is specific to that product. The instructions may only have one cooking method or possibly multiple methods. This is important for all frozen foods whether they are vegetables or meat products. If the package states “not ready to eat” that means some form of cooking, baking or roasting must take place. Always use a food thermometer to check final temperatures.
Hand hygiene is a critical prevention method for COVID-19 and other diseases. Consumers still need to work on making hand hygiene more important. Learn more in the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Fermenting garlic cloves in raw honey is thought to prevent colds and flu, particularly in children.
But this is risky for many factors. Garlic is a low acid plant food, and honey varies from low to high acidity. The water activity of honey is low due to high sugar content. But when the two are combined, what is the final water activity? It depends on the ratio of garlic to oil, plus other factors.
Other concerns are the risk of botulism, due to the fact that botulism has occurred in garlic in oil. Honey can also be a source of infant botulism in children under age one.
Source: Dr. Ben Chapman, NCSU Extension and Dr. Don Schaffner, Rutgers University, Risky or Not? Podcast #46
The 2020 Urban Food System Symposium will be held virtually each Wednesday in October 2020.
The goal is to share knowledge on urban agricultural production, local food systems distribution, urban farmer education, urban ag policy, planning and development, food access and justice, and food sovereignty. Topics include nutrition and food security, climate change, food production, and more.
The Consumer Food Safety Education Conference (CFSEC) will be virtual March 9-12, 2021. Plan now to submit an abstract for a poster or session. The theme is Now you Have my Attention: Hand Hygiene and Food Safety Education for Everyone.
Share your food safety education success in the following categories:
Cutting Through Clutter: What’s Working to Engage Consumers?
Safe Food Handling in Today’s Food Landscape
Food Safety Education Program Successes—posters only
A nationwide recall is ongoing due to Salmonella in onions, including red, white and yellow varieties.
Ask your grocer or search their website for recalls. This will help specifically identify products included in the recall. With any food recall, do not consume the food. Throw it away or return it to the store for a refund.
In light of the current COVID-19 outbreak, the Partnership for Food Safety Education has announced that the 2021 Consumer Food Safety Education Conference will be an all virtual event March 9-12, 2021.
This conference brings together health and food safety educators with federal agencies and food businesses to help build education and programming for consumer food safety education.
More details about the conference will be announced soon.
A recent foodborne illness outbreak in bagged salad mixes was found to be contaminated with the parasite Cyclospora. This parasite is found in feces contaminated food or water. Illness occurs due to ingestion as opposed to being directly passed from one person to another.
The time between becoming infected and becoming sick is usually about one week. Cyclospora infects the small intestine (bowel) and usually causes watery diarrhea, with frequent, sometimes explosive, bowel movements. Other common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue. Vomiting, body aches, headache, fever, and other flu-like symptoms may be noted. Some people who are infected with Cyclospora do not have any symptoms. If not treated, the illness may last from a few days to a month or longer. Symptoms may seem to go away and then return one or more times (relapse). It’s common to feel very tired.
If a food is connected to any foodborne illness recall, never eat the food. Either throw it away or return it to the store for a refund. Before handling any food, wash your hands thoroughly. Wash fresh fruits and vegetables with running water and scrub when possible. Refrigerate cut, peeled or cooked produce and away from raw meat or poultry.