Monday, October 3, 2011

Good Housekeeping's Food Safety Tips

According to a segment on The Today Show, 40 million people get sick from food poisoning each year.  It sends 128 thousand people to the hospital and kills three thousand adults and children (the very old, very young and folks who have compromised immune systems).

Rosemary Ellis, editor-in-chief of GH, reminds us to be mindful while preparing food at home, or eating out.  If you missed the story, don't fret; I watched and bet some of her not "to dos" will surprise you:
1. At the grocery store, prioritize shopping. – Buy can and packaged goods first and cold food last.
2. Make sure your supermarket's produce cooler is cold. – Bacteria thrives in warm temperatures. If cold food doesn't feel cold, don't buy it.
3. Keep a cooler with ice packs in your trunk. – Store foods in it, if you run errands instead of heading home.  Foods that need to stay cold can make you sick if left out for over 2 hours, giving bacteria a chance to grow.
4. Don't wash raw meat, or poultry. – Cooking the meat, not running it under water, kills bacteria.  By washing it in your sink, you are splattering bacteria around your kitchen.
5. Prevent cross contamination. – Use separate cutting boards for raw meat and vegetables.  Put raw meat in plastic bags before storing in your refrigerator/freezer to keep juices from contaminating other food.
6. Defrost meat and poultry properly. – Thaw frozen meat in a 1) refrigerator; 2) microwave; or 3) inside a non-leaking plastic bag placed in a sink of cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes.
7. Always wash fresh fruit and vegetables.
8. Don't wash produce labeled “ready to eat,” “pre-washed” or “triple washed.” – If they are contaminated, washing won't help.
9. Check a restaurant's latest health inspection:  Click here.
10. Don't eat a hamburger unless the restaurant uses a meat thermometer to test its doneness.
11. Don't eat at salad bars unless they remove the old batches and replace with a new batch.  Watch for salad dumping.

Personally, I was surprised by #4, #8 and never thought about #10.  How about you?

You may also enjoy:
No Skimping On Good Oral Hygiene
Vitamin D And A Little Sun Is Good For Your Health
Keep Colds and The Flu Away
Health Care Reform, A Doctor Weighs In 


  1. As far as #10 goes, how would you know? I think if you ask a server if they use a thermometer in the kitchen on the hamburgers, they will either lie, or think you're a bit of a kook. If you are that concerned, just cut into the burger; if it's well-done, it was hot enough.

  2. Good points. I guess you'd have to ask a server without volunteering the answer -- How do you make sure your burgers are done? Or, take Ms. Ellis with you. She'll find out, : )

    I grew up eating well-done burgers and so like them that way.

    Robert you are a food expert, so am glad to know if it's well done, it was cooked hot enough. Before today, I never worried about it.

  3. Thanks for this post. It provides some great insight.