• Getting To Know Listeria

    Most people know about Salmonella, E. coli and Botulism and are now, unfortunately, adding Listeria to their list of frequently heard of foodborne illnesses. Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes) is not one of the top most frequently occurring foodborne illnesses, but it is one of the most costly and deadly. Listeria—the illness is called listeriosis– causes […] Tags:
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  • Be ready for power outages

    I live in an area that may be affected by hurricanes. So, it’s time for us to seriously think about preparing for storms and getting out our emergency check list. Even if you don’t live in a hurricane zone there may be other weather situations that may cause power outages and potential food safety problems […] Tags:
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  • What don’t you eat?

    I frequently teach food safety classes for food service managers. At the end of the first day of class—after sessions on foodborne illness pathogens and potentially hazardous foods— someone usually asks me if there are foods or places that I just don’t eat.  Local sanitarians are often guest speakers in this class—I like to ask […] Tags:
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  • Just a poached egg

    I like to teach with stories.  I think people learn more and remember it if they relate a topic to a real-life experience. Sometimes telling one story can lead to others and people can personalize the topic. Hopefully this will help them remember and make use of this knowledge. When teaching food safety we always […] Tags:
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  • Washing Poultry

    Research shows that 70% of consumers wash their chicken before they cook it. Where do you stand on this issue? The practice of washing chicken may actually have come from someone I admire greatly, Julia Child.  In one of her episodes of The French Chef she advised viewers to run uncooked chicken under the faucet […] Tags:
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  • Risk of Death for Dinner?


    “Consuming raw seafood may increase your risk of death.” “Evil witch advisory.” Yes, these are actual advisories I’ve seen on walls and restaurant menus.  I’m sure someone considered them funny. But there is nothing funny about a foodborne illness. Perhaps these “off the wall” methods did get more people’s attention than the more traditional advisory […] Tags:
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  • Do as I do—Demonstration tips

    People love cooking classes and food demonstrations.  So why not use this interest to teach more than recipes or cooking techniques? You can teach food safety by using good practices. Think of the class or demo as the “teachable moment”–that’s the time that is just right for someone to learn something.  Think about your audience. […] Tags:
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  • Sprouts or Microgreens?

    I like to ask sanitarians and other food safety experts what foods they WON’T eat. One item that’s always on their list is raw sprouts. Over the past 20 years, sprouted seeds have been associated with at least 55 foodborne illness outbreaks with more than 15,000 people getting sick. All of this came from eating […] Tags:
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  • NOT Ready-to-eat

    Except perhaps a quick glance at the recommended microwave cooking times, I’m betting that most people don’t look at the fine print on a bag of frozen vegetables. I’ve recently noticed that some packages now contain the food safety caution: “Product is not ready to eat. For food safety, cook to an internal temperature of […] Tags:
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  • Is it TWO or FOUR?

    This is something that’s been bugging me.  I teach food safety, primarily to food service managers and folks that work in restaurants.  Occasionally I do work with consumer groups. If you teach these topics you know that there are a couple differences in what we teach the restaurant folks vs. what we teach consumers.  Why? […] Tags:
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