Saturday, July 7, 2012

Nutrition Tip: Food Safety Nerd Alert

If you associate picnics and potlucks with foodborne illness as I do....... you should find a new obsession.  This one's taken.

Seriously, though.  Did you know that there is no such thing as the "24 Hour Flu"?  It's food poisoning.  It's not a virus, it's BACTERIA (insert scary horror film music here).

It takes from 24 hours with salmonella bacteria to 72 hours with camphylobacter for you to get sick. Therefore, you often don't associate the illness with the food that you ate the day before. 

If you like reading about this stuff (ie: things that live in your food) here is a link to the Iowa State Food Safety site.

How can you not get sick from food (and not make others sick from food)?  

1. WASH YOUR HANDS  -- constantly and with warm water and soap please

2.  COOK MEATS TO APPROPRIATE TEMPERATURES (see below)-- use a food thermometer, no you can't "just tell" when it is done

"USDA Recommended Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures
  • Cook all raw beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops, and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source.
  • Cook all raw ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal to an internal temperature of 160 °F as measured with a food thermometer.
  • Cook all poultry to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer."

3.  DO NOT KEEP FOODS BETWEEN 40 DEGREES AND 140 DEGREES FOR MORE THAN 4 HOURS.  Ever.  If you suspect that foods that should be cold or hot have been sitting on the picnic table for more than 4 hours, do not eat them and encourage others to follow your lead.  Be especially wary of foods containing mayonnaise, eggs, or milk products (think potato salad).  Check your coolers for temp (and the refrigerator in your RV).

Alrighty.  That's about enough.  Picnic at your own risk. 

1 comment:

  1. Making sure that what you are eating is safe for human consumption is very important thing to do before you put any kind of food in you mouth. The food you are going to eat must be first approved by an agency responsible for assessing it safety for consumption.