Category: June 2020

Selling Food Directly to the Consumer

Farmers markets are one avenue of selling food and other products to consumers. But there are other paths that go directly to the consumer.

However that happens, we can help! Our publication, Food Safety for Kansas Farmers Market Vendors: Regulations and Best Practices, is a comprehensive guide for many types of foods. This publication is updated at least yearly to stay on top of the latest guidance.

Get started on the right foot! This will help assure your consumers you care about safety and the best product quality.

To help you start a food business, the Kansas Value Added Foods Lab at K-State Research and Extension can help!

By: Ashley Svaty

Check Your Credit

One in five people have an error on at least one of their credit reports according to a study conducted by the Federal Trade Commission. When is the last time you checked your free credit report? Check your credit from once a year to once a week.  You can access your credit report from each credit reporting agency – Equifax, Experian,  Be sure to check your credit and keep errors off your account.  Especially if you are postponing bills, using more credit than usual, applying for loans.

By: Brenda Langdon

Planning Your Summer Budget

Summer is almost here!  The weather is warm, and that’s good enough for us. Start preparing your summer budget (spending plan) by taking a few minutes to plan for upcoming extra expenses.

Here are some reminders of things to include in your summer budget so you don’t go overboard.     

  • Father’s Day
  • Vacations
  • Wedding Season
  • Staycations
  • Farmers Markets
  • Sunscreen
  • Lawn Care
  • Seasonal Clothing
  • Gardening
  • Swim Lessons (Water Activities)
  • Air Conditioning (Higher utility and water bills)
  • Outdoor Barbecues
  • Back to school clothes and supplies

By: Brenda Langdon                                             

Balancing Income and Expenses

Brenda Langdon, Family Resource Management Extension Agent

The 5 C’s are a great starting point to assist people who are struggling to balance income and expenses in economic good times or bad such as trying to reduce debt, ​establish an emergency fund, save for retirement, or reach a personal financial goal.

Control – As much of the situation as you can.  Recognize that it is natural to feel the effects of stress.  Developing and following a plan can reduce stress and help you maintain control of your financial position.

Communicate – Talk with family members about available income and resources.  Decide what the family needs now, soon and in a few months.  Then make a plan together.

Be Prepared to Change – To make it through the hard times, look for ways to reduce expenses, use the things you have longer, swap items with others, trade services.

Claim benefits that are due to you – Apply for unemployment, SNAP, utility assistance, and local resources as soon as possible.

Confer with creditors – Don’t ignore the situation.  If you can’t make credit payments contact creditors and work out realistic payment schedules.

By: Brenda Langdon

Fire Up the Grill!

A food thermometer should be your best friend, never determine meat doneness based on color. Use a food thermometer and make sure meat is cooked to the recommended minimum internal temperature to reduce the risk of food borne illness. For the three most common types of grilled meats, those recommendations include:

  • Steaks, chops and roasts – 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Ground meat – 160 F.
  • All poultry – 165 F.

A food thermometer should be inserted into the center of the thickest part of the meat, away from bone, fat and gristle. For ground meat – such as hamburger patties – insert into the side so that the thermometer is positioned through the center of the food.

  • Use separate plates and utensils for raw meats and cooked meats.
  • Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Hot foods should be maintained at a temperature above 140 F, while cold foods should be kept below 40 F.
  • Wash your hands frequently, especially after handling raw foods, before and during meal preparation, and before eating.
  • Prepare several ice chests to keep food cold and to separate items. Keep beverages in one chest, ready-to-eat foods in another, and raw meats in a third.
  • Do not wash meat or poultry before cooking.

Some non-food safety tips include positioning the grill away from flammable areas, checking the charcoal or gas supply so you don’t run out while preparing meals, and keeping children and pets away from a hot grill.  Have fun and stay safe this grilling season!

By: Ashley Svaty