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Welcome to my blog! I love to cook and bake for my family. I hope you enjoy the recipes, foodie reviews, foodie giveaways and cooking tips posted on my blog.

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

How To Prevent Food Bourne Illnesses At Home ~ Great Tips By HomeFoodSafety.org

Did you know that every year over 76 million people in the United States get some type of food poisoning? With summer being in full swing and people hosting family reunions, summer parties, backyard barbecues, etc. now is the time to educate yourself on how to prevent food bourne illnesses from occurring in our own homes.

There is a wonderful web site online called Home Food Safety where you can learn all about food poisoning, food bourne illnesses and how you can prevent these illnesses at your next summer gathering. Here are some tips I found from their web site that I think all of you could use.

* When purchasing deli meats for your summer sandwiches and subs, you want to use white deli meats within 3 days of purchase and red deli meats within 5-7 days. I never knew that so from now on, I will be tossing my deli meats if they don't get eaten soon enough.

* When using canned goods, always wipe off the top of the can before opening it so that you prevent germs from entering the can during the opening process. In addition, canned goods are only good for up to 12 months unopened. Most canned goods now come with expiration dates so always toss expired ones. If your cans are leaking, bulging, rusted or look swollen, toss and don't eat!

* Here is a great tip on buying and using fresh produce. We all know that we should wash our apples, grapes, pears, peaches, etc. before eating them but most people never wash the skin of a banana, orange, grapefruit, etc. You should always wash the skin before handling them and peeling them as their skin can have harmful bacteria on it. I never knew that so from now on...my skinned vegetables and fruits will now get a washing too!

* While shopping at your local food store you are often approached by the staff to try a few samples. Are you guilty of reaching in and trying a sample? If so, did you immediately wash or disinfect your hands before reading in to grab the sample item? If not, shame on you! While you are shopping the grocery store you are touching your shopping cart, food packages, shelving, etc. and millions of other people have also touched the same items! You should never grab a sample to try out unless you have washed your hands or disinfected them first. If you love to eat a few samples during your shopping trip, they recommend carrying a bottle of hand santizer with you and using it before you grab your sample. I think that is a fabulous tip!

* Another great tip they give for grocery shopping is that you should always purchase your meat products last and you should keep them separated from your other food items. When checking out at the register, ask the clerk to bag your meat products separately.

* Now that summer is here me and my family are enjoying grilling our foods a few times every week. Did you know that you should be cleaning your grill rack before each use with hot soapy water? That is another great tip on their web site that I found to be very important, especially during this time of the year. Once you are grilling your foods, you always want to grill them until they reach the proper internal temperature and you can ensure your items are at the perfect SAFE temperature by investing in a meat thermometer. Once your meats are done cooking, never place them back onto the plate/platter that you had your raw meats on! Always use a clean plate/platter to avoid cross-contamination.

* Another great tip I found over on their web site is that you should always use 2 or more cutting boards. You should use one specific cutting board for your raw meats and a separate cutting board for your other food items. I know here in my own home I have 3 cutting boards and my white cutting board is ONLY ever used for cutting up raw meats and nothing else! I always clean my cutting boards with hot soapy water and disinfectant before using them again. Do you?

As you can see, there are many fabulous tips over on the http://www.homefoodsafety.org/ web site and I hope you take a few minutes out of your busy day to go over there and educate yourself on how you can prevent food bourne illnesses in your own home, prevent them at the grocery store and how you can prevent them while dining out!

Disclosure: For helping spread the word about the importance of home food safety, I was entered into a drawing for a $15 Starbucks gift card and an iPad through Summertime Food Smarts, a contest run by the American Dietetic Association and ConAgra Foods’ Home Food Safety program. Home Food Safety is dedicated to raising consumer awareness about the seriousness of foodborne illness and providing solutions for easily and safely handling foods. Learn more at http://www.homefoodsafety.org.

1 comment:

Pete said...

Good post. Thanks for the tips!

Have a nice weekend