Food Safety at the Supermarket

Unless you grow all of your own food, you’re probably a regular at the neighborhood supermarket. I appreciate that many supermarkets are taking strategic steps to ensure the freshness and safe handling of foods and making food safety a priority. For example, I’m a big fan of those disinfecting wipes provided at the entrances to

Norovirus: Winter Sports Game Changer

There is an unwelcome visitor at the winter games, despised in all of the venues: the norovirus has arrived. This potential microbial game changer is already responsible for 261 confirmed cases of illness (as of February 16, 2018) in a norovirus outbreak that evidently began with security guards in PyeongChang and has spread to athletes.

A Thanksgiving Food Safety Quiz

Preparing a Thanksgiving feast is really an exercise in project management. Whether you are “sub-contracting” the sides or coordinating everything from “soup to nuts” yourself, an awareness of food safety is essential to reach the goal of a delicious, safely prepared meal. Take the quiz below to test your knowledge of food safety for the

How to Keep Your Halloween Jack-o-Lantern Looking Fresh and Teach Your Kids a Little Science in the Process

Carving Jack-o-lanterns is a fun Halloween tradition. Whether you transform your pumpkin into an exquisite work of art or a sweet smiley face with triangle eyes, preserving your Jack-o-lantern from mold and mildew can be tricky. But here’s a Halloween treat of a hint: Jack-o-lanterns can be preserved for a short time with the help

A New Resource to Help Curtail Norovirus: Pictogram Disinfection Posters

Norovirus, the dreaded illness popularly known as the “stomach bug,” is the leading cause of gastrointestinal upset in the US. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are 19 to 21 million cases of norovirus in the US annually. The highly contagious virus is an unwelcome visitor in schools, day

Fancy Meeting You Here! Targeting Household Germs in Unexpected Places

When the weather warms up after a long winter, I get the urge to throw open windows and tackle spring cleaning chores. It’s a great feeling of accomplishment to complete these chores, but I recently learned from WebMD that some of the germiest places in homes are not even on most people’s radar.

The table below, based on information from WebMD, lists the most unexpected hiding places for household germs, the reasons why they thrive in those places, and how you can reduce their unwanted presence.

Holiday Food Safety and the Foodkeeper App

A beautifully arranged holiday dinner table is a feast for the senses. Occasionally, however, festive fare that looks perfectly delectable can sicken unsuspecting diners. There are many ways in which the “perfect” holiday dinner can go horribly wrong. Fortunately, most foodborne illness can be avoided when cooks maintain and apply a keen awareness of the

Norovirus and Chlorine Bleach: The Perfect Pathogen Meets its Match

Is there such a thing as a “perfect” human pathogen?  If by perfect we mean a disease-causing microorganism that is highly contagious; quickly and profusely shed in the environment by its hosts; and able to evolve rapidly to both avoid widespread human immunity and ensure a large pool of susceptible hosts, then norovirus comes very

How to Interpret Pool Chlorine Readings

Pool chlorine levels are easily measured by dipping a test strip in the pool for a few seconds and then matching the resulting color of the strip to a chart linked to “parts per million” chlorine levels. Here’s the rub: Some pool test kits measure “free chlorine,” whereas others measure both “free chlorine” and “total

Trendy or Traditional, Safe Food Preparation is a Must this Thanksgiving

As I prepare to host Thanksgiving once again, I think about how the holiday has changed over the years.  Traditionally the day is marked by a scrumptious feast with a turkey in the spotlight.  Increasingly, in many households, there is greater focus on vegetable and grain dishes to please those who prefer a healthier cuisine