Posts Tagged ‘hand washing’

As the summer school break comes to an end and packing lunches is a nightly routine, it is important to remember to make sure the lunch is handles properly and safe to eat. Perishable food must be kept cold. Here are some back to school food safety tips:

Clean – Clean Hands, Clean Surfaces

  • Wash hands with warm, soapy water before preparing or eating food.
  • Wash utensils and countertops with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item.
  • Use clean packaging and bags.


Separate – Don’t Cross Contaminate

  • Use one cutting board for fresh produce and a different one for meat and poultry to avoid cross contamination.
  • At lunchtime, discard all used food packaging and paper bags. Do not reuse packaging because it could contaminate other food and cause foodborne illness.

Chill – Keep Lunches Cold

  • Keeping food cold slows bacterial growth and keeps food safe.
  • Harmful bacteria multiply rapidly in the “Danger Zone” — the temperatures between 40 and 140°F.
  • Keep perishable food refrigerated until time to leave home.
  • Include a frozen gel pack or frozen juice box with perishable food in the insulated lunch bag or lunch box.
  • Use an insulated soft-sided bag if possible. It’s best for keeping food cold.
  • Store perishable items in a refrigerator (if available) immediately upon arrival.

Keep Hot Lunches Hot

  • Use an insulated container to keep hot food hot — 140°F or above.
  • Cook frozen convenience meals according to package instructions, including standing time if using a microwave.

Author: Susan Zies, Ohio State University Extension, Family & Consumer Sciences Educator, Wood County, http://wood.osu.edu/.

Reviewed by: Lisa Barlage, Ohio State University Extension, Family & Consumer Sciences Educator.


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When the weather warms my thoughts turn to fresh fruits and vegetables.  They can be fresh from the garden, farmer’s market or produce department in your local grocery store.  Here are some tips for selecting the best product and keeping it safe.

  • When purchasing fruits and vegetables, select items that are not bruised or damaged.  A damaged spot is a great place for microorganisms to hide and grow.  Your item will spoil quickly if it is damaged.  If you notice a spot once you have the product at home, cut away the damaged area and use right away.
  • If you are choosing fruits and vegetables which are already cut-up for you make sure they are refrigerated or surrounded by ice.  Cut produce should never be left out of refrigeration.  Items such as a half of cantaloupe or bagged lettuce should be refrigerated when you purchase them.  Grocery stores will sell items already cut-up.  Farmer’s markets and roadside stands should never sell their fruits and vegetables already cut unless they have facilities to keep them refrigerated.
  • For the longest storage, keep perishable item like strawberries, lettuce, and herbs in your refrigerator at a temperature of 40 degrees F or lower.
  • Items such as potatoes and onions can be kept in a cool, dry area.
  • Always wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before you start preparing your fresh produce.
  • And, wash fruits and vegetables under running water before eating, cutting or cooking. It is not necessary to use commercial produce washes.

The first farmer’s market of the season will be here soon!

Source:  http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/types/fruits/tipsfreshprodsafety.html

Author:  Linnette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Ohio State University Extension.

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