Ever seen the movie Along Came Polly? There’s a scene where Ben Stiller explains why a bowl of nuts at a bar are so disgusting. Patrons drink, go to the restroom, don’t wash their hands and dig right back into that bowl. If you think you don’t want to hit a bar with bad-news-bearing Ben Stiller, I’m pretty much the same . . . maybe worse. Here’s why:
Tag: Food Safety
I’ve heard of the 5-second, 10-second and even 30-second rule. You drop food on the floor and if you pick it up in time, then it’s okay to eat. Is this a safe rule to live by?
For the Love of Bacteria!
One of the most disgusting cases I’ve seen is a pacifier dropped on the New York subway floor. The mom picked it up, stuck it in her own mouth to clean and then right in the baby’s mouth. The pacifier was on the floor for about 5 seconds, but that’s enough time for bacteria to cling to food (or in this case a pacifier).
Bacteria love protein and carb-based foods that are moist and not too acidic. This includes foods like meat, chicken, eggs, dairy, cooked vegetables and cooked pasta. Once bacteria is on a food they love, they can double their number every 20 minutes—this means, one bacterium can become over 1 billion in about 10 hours, which is more than enough to get someone sick.
If you think acidic foods like lemons and tomatoes are safer foods, think again. In 2002, an outbreak of salmonella was reported from participants in the U.S. Transplant Games held at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. The culprit was thought to be Roma tomatoes.
Thanksgiving is the start of the holiday season where friends, family, and loved ones gather to have one fantastic meal after another. It’s not the time to skimp on those food safety habits that can make or break the festivities. Here are some simple reminders.
Purchasing the Goodies
At the market, be sure you check the quality of all the products you buy. Look at the color, firmness, and texture of the produce and meats and don’t forget to check the expiration dates on packaged foods. Once you pay for your groceries, be sure to get them stored in the proper place immediately—refrigerator, freezer or pantry. A few extra stops on the way home is plenty of time for bacteria to have a party on your food.
Make room for your turkey—overcrowding your freezer or fridge can actually raise temperatures dangerously high and spoil your food and ruin your equipment.
We all buy food somewhere – from the grocery store, farmers’ market, membership clubs or specialty markets. These places must all follow food safety practices to keep food safe. Sadly, this isn’t always the case. Keep your eyes peeled for some of these frequent “ick” factors wherever you shop.
All establishments that sell food must adhere to food safety guidelines. They get inspected just like restaurants. During your next trip to the market, take a few minutes to visually inspect the premises yourself. Here are few things to take notice of:
- Do the floors look clean?
- Are spills being cleaned up immediately?
- Is the canned food dusty?
- Do the deli and other service counters appear clean?
- Is the stock well organized?
- Is food displayed within its expiration date?
- Does the produce look fresh?
- Are there signs of pests like mouse droppings or roaches?
Global food-borne illness outbreaks have been on the rise in recent years. So why is the U.S. considering putting an end to screening foods to make sure they’re free of some of the deadliest bacteria?
In The News
The LA Times reports the House of Representatives passed a bill last month to do away with funding for a 10-year old program that screens commonly contaminated produce for the presence of harmful bacteria. Now it’s on to the Senate.
This program has lead to nearly 20 food recalls over the last 2 years. Budget restraints and complaints of “unnecessary recalls” are being blamed for the possible reallocation of funds.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that tens of millions of Americans become ill and thousands die from foodborne illnesses each year. With the rapidly increasing rate of foodborne illnesses hitting the United States, something needs to be done. That’s where the new food safety bill comes into play.
Buffets are everywhere these days — Sunday brunch, wedding receptions or the local chain restaurant. I just got back from a trip to Israel, and our hotel even offered breakfast and dinner buffets. Now, I’ve seen some clean and well-managed buffets before, but this place’s spread was definitely not one of them. Of course, it’s not all the restaurant’s fault. We diners can be beastly.
Undercooked food just makes me sick! Literally. Lots of other people, too. Most folks blame food illnesses on a stomach bug or the flu, but often the cause is your own food. A thermometer is good weapon for killing off pesky food bacteria.
There’s more to know about the microwave than which buttons to press. Sure, it’s handy for leftovers or a quick snack for the kids, but you can’t just pop anything into the insta-oven.
When trying to trying to cut calories or costs, brown-bagging your lunch is a good option. But sometimes it’s not as easy as just tossing food in a sack and being on your merry way. Here are 4 main rules to remember.