Showing posts with label USDA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label USDA. Show all posts

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Using a measured approach to food safety

Calibrate before you celebrate

Food safety experts stress that foods should remain out of the danger zone during prep and consumption.  To assist in taking the guesswork out of this, it is recommended to follow the
guidelines specified by FDA and others when preparing and serving food.  Keep hot foods hot, above 140 degrees F and cold foods cold, below 40 degrees F.  To figure out where you are, most turn to a quick read thermometer.  These are great tools to use if used properly.  First, check your thermometer against a know standard.  For most that is a cup of crushed ice and water (a slurry) that should read 32 degrees F.  Look at the stem of the thermometer for a slight dimple or mark.  This is the insertion line that must be fully inserted into what you are measuring.  If the thermometer is not reading correctly, then see if the thermometer can be adjusted.  Many have a nut on the back of the dial that allows for the scale to be moved to correct the thermometer to the ice slurry check.  You should also consider thermometers for the freezer, refrigerator, and oven to check temps and to be sure temperatures are where they should be.

The other consideration is to use the two-hour open rule.  This refers to foods being served that may pose a food risk.  Meats, egg dishes, salads with dressings and other prepared foods should not sit out all day during a festive occasion.  Return foods to covered storage before two hours are up after serving.  It is good to either keep the foods hot or cold, or better yet, store them properly till the next meal.  Snack foods that are normally salted and dry can remain at room temp.  Always follow label recommendations, and be food safe.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Importance of Being Counted


Why it is important to Participate in Ag Census every time ! 

Every five years the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service conducts a national census of agriculture.  Every farmer I meet at times feels that this is an imposition and sees this as an intrusion.  At the same time they will use farming trends seen in census data for their farming operations and use the data to help with local governments they communicate with.

Census data collected helps us understand the changing landscape of agriculture over time.  Some of these measures are hard to extrapolate without conducting the census.  Many of those in government at all levels rely on census data from both agriculture and other industries when they consider appropriations for the farm bill, and other local issues.  It is important then for all farms to participate and be counted so that an accurate picture of the current state of agriculture can be made.  For more information on the Ag census go to the USDA website.