Experts Offer Advice On Bagged Versus Bulk Food Safety

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Convenience may be outweighed by safety when it comes to pre-packaged produce.

Although experts disagree on which is better there is some good advice to help avoid contamination and food poisoning:

Bruhn is also a staunch advocate of irradiation, which she says can ensure food safety.
She encourages consumers to take steps to avoid compromising bagged lettuce. Buy only bags kept very cold in the grocery store and pay attention to sell-by dates. Once you’ve got it home, open the bag and dump it directly into a clean bowl.
“Don’t stick your own hands in there,” she said.
She also urges home cooks not to re-wash bagged greens because of the possibility of cross-contamination with other bacteria already in the kitchen.
If you want to use bulk lettuce, make sure to clean it correctly, Bruhn said. First, wash your hands and also the sink with hot soapy water.
Then, break off each lettuce leaf individually, rinse it under cold running water while rubbing gently. Dry in a salad spinner or with paper towels, not with cloth towels, which may transmit bacteria.

The Cantaloupe Catastrophe has Come to an End

The cantaloupe outbreak of the summer, which claimed 146 sick and 30 dead victims, has finally ended.

This was the second deadliest outbreak since 1985 when Mexican style fresh cheese caused 52 deaths including stillbirths according to the CDC.

Keeping Your Kitchen Free of Disease is as Simple as Cleaning Your Refrigerator

Keeping your refrigerator clean is more than just a good idea.

It could save your health.

Clean your refrigerator as a matter of disease prevention and sanitary food preparation practice.

It’s amazing how many illnesses and bacteria can grow in your refrigerator.

A few simple tips can safeguard your health and help you manage your food inventory and reduce waste.

Wrap foods tightly with two layers of freezer wrap before putting in the freezer or use shrink
wrapping for an air-tight seal around the food.

Store eggs in their cartons — and don’t keep them on the refrigerator door.

Don’t wash fresh produce until you’re ready to use it. Store it in perforated plastic bags, and use
within a few days. Bananas should not be refrigerated.

To allow for air circulation in either your fridge or freezer, don’t overfill the compartments.

Without good circulation, it’s difficult to maintain the proper temperatures.

Store leftovers in tightly covered containers within two hours after cooking. Use in 3-5 days.

Store food and cleaning supplies separate.

Keep potatoes and onions in a cool, dry location. Don’t refrigerate them or keep them under the sink, where moisture from pipes can cause damage.

Check use-by or sell-by dates on food packages. Remember, these dates don’t apply once the package is opened.

Best-if-used-by dates are the most reliable ones to follow. They take normal handling into account.

Put raw meat on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator, in a plastic bag. This will keep the juices from dripping onto other foods.

Three Foods to Avoid to Prevent Food Bourne Illness

Raw milk, raw oysters, and raw bean sprouts top the list of foods to avoid to prevent food poisoning.

There is some controversy about the real dangers eating raw food in contrast with the health benefits that raw foods can offer.

E-coli, Salmonella and listeria are just a few of the bacterial infections that can cause illness and even death.

Pasteurization or cooking is one way to prevent contamination.

8 Deaths and 55 Illnesses Linked to Tainted Cantaloupe

Four strains of listeria bacteria have been connected to tainted cantaloupe from Jensen Farms in Colorado.

Listeriosis is a serious foodborne infection that can cause illness and death in older adults, pregnant women and those with underlying medical conditions and compromised immune systems. Infections are usually caused by contaminated lunch meat, hot dogs and Mexican-style cheeses, not by produce.

Local, state and federal health experts are investigating the widening outbreak tied to Rocky Ford-region brand whole cantaloupe shipped by supplier Jensen Farms of Holly, Colo. On Sept. 14, the federal Food and Drug Administration announced a recall of cantaloupes linked to the multi-state outbreak of listeriosis. The affected cantaloupes were shipped between July 29 and Sept. 10 to at least 17 states and possibly more.

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