In a nutshell… Food safety remains a significant public health issue in the U.S. during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Recommendations for avoiding foodborne illness include the traditional “clean, separate, cook, and chill” messages as well as common sense adaptations based on the “new normal” of life during the coronavirus pandemic. With a Cyclospora recall
In a nutshell… A survey conducted by the Water Quality & Health Council found consumers fear getting sick from their holiday hosts’ poor kitchen hygiene. Survey statistics confirm unsafe food practices, but also that most people follow recipes. Research shows when food safety tips are included in recipes, safe food handling improves. Holidays and
As millions of Americans dust off their cookbooks and browse recipe websites to prepare festive holiday meals, a new survey reveals that 1 in 3 Americans is concerned about getting food poisoning due to someone else’s poor kitchen hygiene. The survey found that concern is warranted, as many home cooks engage in bad hygiene and
UK “Brexit” discussions are sprinkled with speculation about allowing imports of “chlorinated chicken” from the US under a potential revised trade agreement. What is chlorinated chicken and why is the topic so controversial? According to the National Chicken Council (NCC), a “chlorinated chicken” is a chlorine-washed chicken, one that has been rinsed with chlorinated water.
Although the U.S. food supply is generally considered to be safe, foodborne illnesses continue to take a toll in our country. Nearly every month we hear of a food-related illness outbreak or recall, prompting a mental check of whether we might have purchased the offending product, consumed it, or stored it in our kitchens. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) National Outbreak Reporting System, in the 17-year period from 2000 to 2017, over 18,000 foodborne outbreaks were reported, involving more than 350,000 cases (approximately one per 1,000 people in the U.S.) of illness, over 15,000 hospitalizations, and nearly 350 deaths from consuming unsafe foods. Moreover, these numbers likely underreport the actual U.S. statistics as CDC estimates that each year, 48 million people experience foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die.
I enjoy cooking, and I have several dog-eared cookbooks and food-stained index cards featuring the recipes for many of my family’s favorite dishes. I also enjoy trying out recipes I find in magazines, newspapers, or online. Recipes are an indispensable tool for cooks, helping us perform the “kitchen chemistry” that transforms ingredients into delicious, “table-ready” meals. But implicit in most recipes is the notion that cooks know how to handle raw products, including produce, poultry, fish, and meat, safely. Based on data on foodborne illness outbreaks from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some of us may not actually be that savvy about food safety.
The U.S. food supply is among the safest in the world, thanks to a multitude of protective measures all along the path from “the farm to the fork.” Many of these measures are illustrated in the Food Safety Pyramid in Figure 1. One of these, food recalls, helps warn consumers when contaminated food has made
I love Thanksgiving because it brings together good people and good food. Keeping my guests smiling all the way through Black Friday is important to me too. By that I don’t mean tracking my guests’ amazing savings on sale merchandise at the mall. I mean making sure that folks who joined me for the holiday
One of the most challenging aspects of cooking is safely handling raw foods. Uncooked and undercooked foods can transfer pathogens to every surface they contact, including cooks’ hands. With no way of knowing whether a given raw food harbors pathogens, cooks must assume all raw foods do. That is the reason, for example, we never return cooked meats to the platter upon which they were delivered, raw, to the backyard grill.
News of recent foodborne illness outbreaks from purchased pre-cut melon, shell eggs, romaine lettuce and even breakfast cereal reminds us that although the US food supply is one of the safest in the world, food-related risks still exist. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 48 million people get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized,