Essere un fornitore dell'alimento è il commercio serio attualmente. Sopra l'anno scorso abbiamo dovuto occuparci dei richiami dell'alimento che farebbero i vostri capelli arricciarsi. Particolarmente per noi poveri sciocchi nel commercio caldo della salsa.
Abbiamo fatti ricordare i pomodori. Abbiamo fatti i peperoni di jalapeno ricordare. Abbiamo fatti i peperoni di serrano ricordare. Abbiamo fatti ricordare le arachidi. Abbiamo avuti prodotti usando la salsa del worcestershire ricordata. Quello non include i richiami che direttamente non effettuino l'industria calda della salsa; melammina nella formula del bambino, nelle carni alterate del panino, ecc. La parte spaventosa di essere in questo commercio non è necessariamente che potremmo concluderci in su sulla conclusione di ricezione di un richiamo, ma piuttosto che come il tempo accende e rintracciare e la responsabilità diventano più prevalenti, più richiami per gli articoli che abbiamo creduto la cassaforte per gli anni volontà accada.
Gli Americani del nord si sono trovati che si domandano seriamente perchè il ciclo alimentare non è sicuro e sono stati rapidi incolpare dei fornitori dell'alimento che sono stati l'argomento di richiami voluminosi dell'alimento. Ora assegnato, sembriamo essere i colpevoli e siamo mólto ultimamente nelle notizie, ma quella è perché la FDA e i CFIA stanno funzionando più duro appena un poco piccolo per accertare la sicurezza dell'alimento dei prodotti che escono dalle nostre cucine. Ma siamo in questa industria per fare i soldi e quello non accade se facciamo i prodotti alimentari che non sono sicuri da mangiare. In realtà, i richiami del prodotto sono molto costosi e possono mettere i fornitori dell'alimento dal commercio, anche se il richiamo è maneggiato bene.
L'industria ha identificato ed ha legiferato e sta effettuando parecchi sensi proteggere i consumatori. All of these involve systematic regular hygiene, close monitoring of identified hazard points in the manufacturing chain and maximizing the effectiveness of food recalls by issuing pre-emptive recalls; better safe than sorry, if you will. Unfortunately even 100% effectiveness of these systems cannot protect the consumer from getting food poisoning. Truth be told, according to food safety defense attorneys, Gass Weber Mullins LLC., our food safety system is in very good shape. In fact, they believe that the system is extremely well suited to identifying problems when they arise and to encouraging quick and effective solutions.
Of course, in pointing fingers, many facts about foodborne illness have been overlooked. The least of which is the fact that the food manufacturing industry isn’t really a key player in the spreading of foodborne illnesses; the largest portion of these illnesses are not because of manufacturers, at all. In researching an industry white paper on Food Safety I discovered that the majority of foodborne illness comes from poor hygiene and food handling in prep kitchens. A large number of cases can be attributed to restaurants, but by far the largest number of cases come from poor home kitchen hygiene. That’s right my friend. You just may be poisoning yourself and your family regularly and don’t even know it. In fact, statistically, in the US alone, 2 cases of food poisoning occur every second and 13 deaths from food poisoning occur every day.
So, in order to help, you, the consumer, the weak link in the food safety chain, strengthen the safety of your personal food supply, I’ve compiled the following information. This checklist comes from information available from the American Dietetic Association and will help you lessen the risk of contracting a foodborne illness from your home.
1. Wash your hands in warm soapy water often while preparing food. If you are handling raw meat or eggs, continue scrubbing for a full 20 seconds. How long is 20 seconds? Sing two choruses of Happy Birthday to yourself.
2. To prevent cross-contamination use two cutting boards. One strictly for raw meat, one for vegetables or ready to eat foods. If you want to be extra safe, keep a third one just for poultry. How do you remember which board is which? The ADA suggests colour coding your boards. Does this seem a little like overkill? Many chefs liken raw chicken to toxic waste. Think about it.
3. To clean your cutting board after it has been used to cut meat, clean it thoroughly in hot, soapy water, then disinfect with a chlorine bleach or other sanitizing solution and then rinse it with clean hot water. You can make your own bleach solution by diluting 2-3 teaspoons of bleach in one quart of water. If you are allergic to bleach, as I am, though, you might want to try chlorine substitutes. Many are available, but you want to be sure to find one that is effective in the destruction of E.coli, Salmonella, Listeria, Staphylococcus and Cryptosporidium. Two brands that I am aware of are Nature Clean, a natural liquid bleach and Melaleuca’s Thymol based product: Sol-U-Guard. There are certainly more out there, but the label will expressly tell you if they are suitable for killing the various bacteria responsible for foodborne illnesses.
4. Cook meat to “doneness” not based on how it looks, but rather by using a food thermometer. Push the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, taking care that it doesn’t touch bone, fat or gristle. You can buy oven-safe or oven-probe thermometers that can be used while cooking.
USDA Recommended Minimum Internal Temperature Guidelines for ensuring food safety:
* Steaks, Roasts and Fish - 145 °F
* Pork, Ground Beef and Egg dishes - 160 °F
* Chicken and poultry - 165 °F
Wash the thermometer after cooking in hot soap water, clean with the disinfecting bleach solution and then rinse with hot clean water.
5. When you reheat food, use your thermometer again. Ensure that the bacteria is destroyed by heating to a minimum of 165 °F.
6. When thawing meat do it either in the refrigerator or in the microwave. If you use the microwave, though, the meat must be cooked immediately afterward.
7. The temperature setting on your refrigerator is important as well. In order to effectively slow the growth of bacteria, your refrigerator should be kept below 40 °F at all times. If your fridge doesn’t include one, you might want to add a thermometer to monitor the temperature, especially in the summer months when the door is opened more often.
8. What about your leftovers? They’re okay to leave cool off before refrigerating right? Well, no, not really. You want to be sure that your leftovers are refrigerated as soon as possible after eating. No more than two hours generally, and if the ambient temperature is above 80 °F, then reduce this time to one hour. Be safer, “cool” your leftovers in the fridge.
9. And this is the most important one, with summer BBQ season coming. Clean your grill each time you use it. Using the bleach or disinfectant solution at the end of the barbecue. Many will suggest that you add this step to the beginning of the barbecue, but if you are the sort to heat your barbecue prior to grilling, it will come up to temperature before you begin cooking and will eliminate the bacteria. To be extra safe (when cooking for high risk people), clean the grill prior to cooking.
10. Never put cooked meat back into or onto a dish that previously held raw meat or vegetables.
11. Pay attention to expiry dates on food products, especially those of raw meat.
Other tips for brown bagging, barbecuing, tailgating and picnics:
* Never use the meat marinade on the meat unless you bring it to a boil first.
* Use separate serving utensils for each dish.
* If you don’t have access to a refrigerator keep your brown bag lunch safe by using an insulated lunch bag or box with an ice pack (or you can freeze your juice box, which will keep your lunch safe while it melts.)
* Ensure your kitchen counters are clean from dinner or breakfast BEFORE making your brown bag lunch.
* Clean your insulated lunch bag or box every day.
* Substitute perishable lunch items with shelf-stable ones: trail mix, bagels, vegetable sticks, whole fruit, single serving tinned items that can be opened in time for the meal and of course, peanut butter (assuming you do not have a peanut allergy in your midst, that is). Note, melons are NOT considered shelf-stable fruit and are one of the worst food poisoning culprits during summer activities.
* Do not keep lunchtime leftovers for a late afternoon snack unless they are shelf-stable.
* Wash all fruits and vegetables regardless of whether they have an edible peel. Bananas and oranges can carry harmful bacteria on their skins that is spread to the fruit when you peel it.
* Include a moist towelette in your lunch bag if you will be somewhere that you cannot wash.
* Use your meat thermometer even when barbecuing, but add 5 degrees to the internal temperature for chicken and bring it up to 170 °F.
* Use separate utensils when grilling, one for each type of meat and one for vegetables.
* Do not par-cook meats for picnics or tailgating. Fully cook them on site.
* Keep your cooler well stocked with ice or better yet, get a cooler thermometer to insure that the internal temperature of your cooler stays below 40 °F.
Finally, it is important to be aware that the numbers governing foodborne illness are heavily skewed in favour of the illnesses because an indeterminable number of cases go unreported because the victim thinks they are suffering from the 24 hour flu or worse because some illnesses don’t appear until days or even weeks after infection.
Those most at risk from foodborne illnesses are pregnant women and their unborn or newborn children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems: those undergoing chemotherapy, transplant patients, diabetics, alcoholics and those with HIV or other immunodeficiences.
Be safe and keep the people you are feeding safe; wash your hands often and as Alton Brown of the Food Network would say good eating.
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