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Tag: Food Safety

Don’t Let the End Zone be the Danger Zone!

Score a touchdown at your party by serving great food, but winning safe food!

Clean: Prepare for the win!

  • Wash your hands with warm soapy water for 20 seconds.
  • Wash and sanitize all dishware and utensils.

Separate: Your best defense!

  • Keep raw meat and poultry away from ready-to-eat foods.
  • Use a clean utensil for each dish.
  • Use a clean plate when going for second helpings of food.

Cook: A game winner!

  • Use a food thermometer to check for doneness
  • All poultry—165°F
  • Burgers and sliders—160°F
  • Soup and reheated foods—165°F

Chill: Don’t let the clock expire!

  • Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
  • Put out food in batches.
  • Follow the 2-hour rule.

Learn more at


What’s Going On with Romaine Lettuce?

The Partnership for Food Safety Education held a webinar about romaine lettuce and recent foodborne illness outbreaks. This particular lettuce has be linked to at least two large recalls due to E. coli O157:H7 contamination.

There a many preventive steps in place in growing and handling fresh produce. Unfortunately, it is still subject to contamination.

It is still important to wash fresh produce before consuming. Bagged salads should not be washed as that could increase contamination risks.

If you have any food in a recall, never consume it. Return it to the store or throw it away.

For this webinar and other past webinars, see


Start the Year with a Clean Fridge!

Many of us make New Year’s resolutions, but will they happen? Here’s one you can do! Clean your fridge! And it’s a great way to inventory the contents.

  1. Remove the food and keep it in an ice chest or another refrigerator.
  2. Unplug the fridge. Clean underneath and behind the appliance to remove dust.
  3. Remove drawers and shelves. Let glass shelves adjust to room temperature so they don’t crack. Wash with hot, soapy water. Use a toothbrush to get into tight spaces.
  4. Wipe down the interior walls of the fridge and door shelves.
  5. Dry all surfaces with a clean towel or paper towels.
  6. Sanitize with a solution of 1 tablespoon liquid bleach in 1 gallon of water.
  7. Plug the fridge back in and put shelves and drawers in their spots.
  8. Restock the fridge and clean any containers and bottles. Toss anything past its prime and make a shopping list.

Between cleanings, wipe up spills as they happen to keep the fridge as clean as possible.

Sources: and


After the Hunt

Hunting season is in full swing for a variety of wild game species. Take time to safely handle and preserve wild game to safely provide wholesome and nourishing food for family and friends.

Key factors in keeping field dressed wild game safe are temperature control and preventing cross contamination. Meat is susceptible to foodborne pathogen contamination such as E. coli or Salmonella. This can come from the surroundings, from the gastrointestinal tract, or other handling and transport.

Start with proper equipment when going out hunting. Suggested equipment includes:

  • Sharp knives
  • Small hatchet
  • Several feet of rope or nylon cord
  • Rubber bands
  • Clean towels or paper towels
  • Resealable bags
  • Large cooler with lots of ice
  • Disposable plastic gloves
  • Fresh water

Field dress as soon as possible and chill the carcass quickly with ice or snow. Learn more information at in the Canning Low Acid Foods section.

Holiday Baking Webinar

It’s not just the raw eggs that cause food safety problems. All kinds of flour are raw and must be baked for safe consumption.

‘Tis the season! Time to bring out the mixing bowls and warm up the ovens for holiday baking.

To help you make your baked goods safe, the Partnership for Food Safety Education is hosting “Holiday Baking for BAC Fighters: Promoting Home Safe Handling of Ingredients” on Tuesday, November 19 at Noon to 1:00pm CST.

The webinar will cover risks of consuming unbaked (raw) ingredients, dough or batter and discuss recent foodborne illness outbreaks linked to raw flour. They will also share behavioral health messages and downloadable resources to promote safe baking practices at home.

Guest speakers are Donald Kautter, senior advisor/consumer safety officer with the FDA, and Sharon Davis, family and consumer sciences educator with the Home Baking Association.

Register online now!

Food Blogs and Canning Recipes

Look for food preservation resources at

Food bloggers have taken the internet by storm in many creative ways. But when it comes to home canning safety, these resources include methods that could lead to foodborne illness.

The University of Maine conducted a study of 56 blog posts from 43 food blogs on how to can salsa. They examined the adherence to several food safety factors including acidification, thermal processing, contaminants and vacuum sealing. They found a majority of these guidelines were not followed (an average of 70% across all categories). The biggest concern was lack of acidification (91%). Many did not provide guidance on adjusting for altitude.

Food bloggers are influencers. They have an opportunity to educate, while still entertain with good food, and more importantly, reduce the risk of foodborne illness!

Source: Food Protection Trends, Vol. 39, No. 5, p. 377-396

Potential Method to Protect Flour

Always wash your hands and equipment after handling raw flour.

Flour has been linked to foodborne illness in recent years. It is a real problem. A company in Toronto, Canada might have a solution.

They have developed a nonthermal method to get a 99.9% microbial reduction in flour. The method, called Neo-Temper™, applies an organic liquid solution to the wheat kernels in the tempering phase of milling wheat into flour. This liquid destroys surface pathogens and gets into cracks and crevices of the kernels that can hide pathogens. The liquid biodegrades and the flour retains its nutritional content and its functionality.

This new process is currently in the process of validation in several North American milling companies.


Let’s Talk Thermometers

Check whole poultry temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and thickets part of the breast.

There are a variety of thermometers to use for cooking. And they are not just for checking meat doneness. They can be use to check temperature of baked goods, stages of candy cooking, and more. They can also help with making good quality food.

There are choices. Here are a few.

  • Dial Oven-Safe. It can be left in the food while cooking large foods like whole poultry and roasts. Place in the thickest part of the food.
  • Digital Instant-Read. Good for thin foods and gives quick results. Insert at least ½-inch deep into the food. Not oven-safe.
  • Dial Instant-Read. Good for larger foods and soups. Reads in about 15-20 seconds. Place 2-2½” deep into thickest part of the food. Insert sideways into thinner foods. Not oven-safe.
  • Pop-Up. These are in whole turkeys or chickens. They are made of food safe nylon and are reliable within 1-2°F. Always double check doneness with a conventional thermometer in the innermost part of the thigh and thickest part of the breast.
  • Digital Oven Probe with Cord. These can be used in most foods and is oven safe. The base unit sits on the stovetop or counter.

Learn more at


Can Two Turkeys Be Roasted in One Oven?

The cooking time is determined by the weight of one bird—not the combined weight. Use the weight of the smaller bird to determine cooking time.  Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the smaller bird first and then check the second bird. A whole turkey is safe when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer.  Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast.  When cooking two turkeys at the same time make sure there is enough oven space for proper heat circulation.