Showing posts with label food safety. Show all posts
Showing posts with label food safety. 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.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Making Easter eggs and enjoying it...

Being Safe while enjoying the real thing

Easter is a time for most to come together and share a meal with those we care for.  I give thanks at this time for many things, but I also thank those who produce the food I eat.  Whether large or small, farmers do feed most of us.  So if you are lucky enough to have birds in your care and production enough to share, thank you!

I still like to boil eggs for Easter.  Dyeing eggs is one fun thing a family can do, and there are many ways to color eggs.   I prefer to use the off stove method of cooking eggs.  Cover eggs in water till at least an inch covers the eggs.  Bring these to just a boil, and then cover and take off the heat to stand for 10-12 minutes.  A little longer for larger eggs, a little less for smaller eggs.  Use older eggs, as it makes them easier to peel.  For dye I have used the box kits, food dye for cake making, along with yellow onion skins, beet juice, and other veggie pigments.  As long as the dyes are edible, they can be used.  A little vinegar helps with the staining process, and setting the color.  For those in a pinch, buy brown eggs or eggs from a farm with different colored breeds.  These naturally pigmented eggs will also be a hit on the bunny trail.

If you are going to hunt with real eggs away from home, the secret is the cooler and ice packs you carry the eggs in.  This will keep the eggs cold.  Keep eggs in their cartons and in the cooler until just before the kids are to hunt for eggs.  We did this in the morning while it was still cool, and then pop the real eggs back in the cooler just after the kids have found them.  Any eggs with broken shells should be thrown away.  

Eggs are a versatile food. I always enjoy egg salad sandwiches after Easter with my pigmented hard cooked eggs.  Folks around the lunch table would marvel at what I am eating, but are envious when they try my egg salad with spicy brown mustard and a touch of red onion for crunch.  Enjoy.