Info - Sept. Food Safety Month
cnty5028 at unlvm.unl.edu
Tue Aug 25 08:15:17 PDT 1998
If you're putting together materials for National Food Safety Education
Month (TM), the following article in September's FoodTalk may be helpful.
Feel free to use and adapt to meet your food safety education needs.
Alice Henneman, MS, RD, Extension Educator
University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension
in Lancaster County
Hello from "FoodTalk" - Read It ... Do It: Food, Nutrition & Food Safety
A free monthly "how-to" message from the
University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension - Lancaster County
~ ~ ~ SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL FOOD SAFETY EDUCATION MONTH (TM)* ~ ~ ~
TOPIC: IT'S A GRAB AND GO WORLD
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=> Do it at a drive-through restaurant.
=> Catch it at a cafeteria.
=> Grab it in a grocery store.
Mealtime is "grab and go" for many people. Take-out food is taking over.
Wherever you obtain your take-out food, certain food safety tips apply:
TIP 1: MORE THAN TWO IS BAD FOR YOU
Two hours is the maximum time perishable foods should be kept at room
temperature. When not kept under control, bacteria can grow rapidly. If
you're serving food in temperatures over 90 F, such as a picnic, limit the
time in which food sits out to one hour or less. Just ONE bacterium,
doubling every 20 minutes, could grow to 64 bacteria in two hours and
2,097,152 bacteria in seven hours!
Don't hesitate, refrigerate . . . at 40 F or colder . . . if you won't be
eating your take-out meal within two hours.
DID YOU KNOW? Perishable foods include meat, poultry, fish, dairy products,
pasta, rice and cooked vegetables. Also, refrigerate fresh, peeled and/or
cut fruits and vegetables within a couple of hours.
TIP 2: HERE'S THE RULE, GET IT COOL
Refrigerate hot take-out foods right away if you won't be eating them within
two hours - let the refrigerator cool them down. Leave the covers of
containers cracked open to help food cool faster. Cover tightly once the
food is cooled.
For large quantities, divide food into loosely covered shallow containers
before refrigerating; cover tightly when cool. Food cools more rapidly in
shallow containers, limiting the growth of bacteria.
If you leave your pizza and other perishable foods at room temperature for
more than a couple of hours, TOSS them out. Some types of bacteria can form
a heat-resistant toxin that cooking can't destroy.
TIP 3: AVOID DELAY, EAT IN A DAY
Plan to eat take-out foods and leftovers within a day for greater safety and
TIP 4: DON'T MISS A BEAT, SAFELY REHEAT
Don't reheat take-out food in its original container in the microwave,
unless the container is described as safe for microwave use. Chemicals from
carryout containers can be absorbed into foods at high temperatures. Safe
containers for microwave cooking include glass and glass ceramic cookware,
and those labeled for microwave use.
DID YOU KNOW? To heat thoroughly in your microwave:
=> COVER the microwave container with a lid or plastic wrap turned back at
one corner. The plastic wrap shouldn't touch the food. This prevents the
possible absorption of chemicals from the plastic wrap at high temperatures.
Trapped steam helps destroy bacteria and ensure uniform cooking.
=> STIR AND/OR ROTATE food midway and as needed during microwaving.
=> REHEAT foods until they reach 165 F and are steaming throughout.
TIP 5: WHEN IN DOUBT, TOSS IT OUT
You can't always see, smell or taste bacteria that cause food-borne illness.
It takes from 1/2 hour to two or more weeks before you get sick from
contaminated food. Sometimes it's hard to know if food has been handled
safely. If you don't know, give food the heave ho!
* National Food Safety Education Month (TM) is sponsored by the Industry
Council on Food Safety, a restaurant and food service industry coalition
formed by the Education Foundation of the National Restaurant Association
and supported by many public and private sector organizations.
The goals of National Food Safety Education Month are "to reinforce food
safety education and training among restaurant and food service workers" and
"to educate the public to handle and prepare food properly at home, where
food safety is equally important -- whether cooking from scratch or serving
take-out meals and restaurant leftovers."
If you'd like more information, check the USDA Food Safety and Inspection
Web site (www.fsis.usda.gov) and the Fight BAC! (TM) Web site (fightbac.org).
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Cooperative Extension offices are located throughout the United States. For
answers to your food, nutrition, and food safety questions, contact your
nearest Cooperative Extension office.
=> FoodTalk is a FREE monthly e-mail newsletter for health professionals,
educators and consumers. It's published by University of Nebraska
Cooperative Extension in Lancaster County. Each issue provides a short,
"how-to" message on food, nutrition, or food safety.
=> FoodTalk is written by Alice Henneman, Extension Educator and
=> Feel free to forward FoodTalk. To receive FoodTalk, send this request:
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FOODTALK at UNL.EDU
Alice Henneman, MS, RD, LMNT, Extension Educator
University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension in Lancaster County
444 Cherrycreek Rd.; Lincoln, NE 68528-1507 USA
PHONE: 402/441-7180 FAX: 402/441-7148 E-MAIL: cnty5028 at unlvm.unl.edu
Web site: http://www.ianr.unl.edu/ianr/lanco/family/safety.htm
Food safety game: http://www.ianr.unl.edu/ianr/lanco/family/buggame.htm
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