Food safety

Holiday Food Safety Part II: The Buffet

vegetable buffet

Holiday Food Safety Part II: The Buffet

By Jeremy DeLisle, UNH Education Center Program Coordinator

Q:  Every Thanksgiving, my family gathers for a big potluck buffet – and food sometimes stays out for hours. How can I make sure the food is handled properly and stays safe to eat?  Frank S – Bow, NH

When it comes to food safety, we are fortunate to have reliable resources to guide us as we prepare the meals for those who mean the most to us. Whether its turkey or ham, veggies or sweets, it’s important that we understand and follow good food safety practices each step of the way.

Should You Wash Raw Chicken?

By Jessica Sprague, Food Safety Field Specialist

I recently read a blog post about the proper way to handle and cook chicken to avoid foodborne illness. While the topic itself is rather straightforward, I was struck by the controversy that appeared in the comments section over whether chicken should be washed before it is cooked.

Packing a Lunch? Make It Safe!

by Jessica Sprague, Field Specialist, Food Safety

Whether we’re ready or not, fall is approaching. The bus stop near my house is populated with cheerful kids each morning during the week. Though I think they may become less chipper as the mornings get darker and cooler in the coming months. I know I will!

With the return to school comes the return of hurriedly packing lunches in the morning before the trek to school or work. If you’re the type of person who prefers a calmer approach, consider packing your lunch the night before. Whatever your technique for packing your child’s lunch, or your own, it is important to remember some basic food safety and temperature control guidelines.

Take Precautions to Avoid Botulism When Home Canning

Ann Hamilton, Food Safety Specialist, Carroll County

One of the biggest risks in home canning is botulism. Not following directions precisely can be fatal, as was the case in Ohio this past April. The case involved 29 people who ate potato salad made with home-canned potatoes at a church potluck. Of the 29, one died of respiratory failure shortly after arriving at the emergency department.

The person who made the potato salad with the home-canned potatoes made a critical error. The person processed the jars in a boiling water canner instead of a pressure canner. A mistake that cost someone their life.

Getting the Most from Your Pick-Your-Own Experience

I was out on a farm visit last week and saw strawberries starting to color up! That means the pick-your-own season has begun, and it’s a good time to review strategies for getting the most out of your experience.

Some farms are a little behind schedule this year due to the hard winter and late spring, so the first strategy is to check the website or call the farm ahead of time. You want to make sure they are open and have strawberries available for picking. 

Q. Can you suggest a good source of information on food storage topics ?

Q. Can you suggest a good source of information on food storage topics such as how long fresh eggs keep their quality in the refrigerator or whether I can still eat those jars of home canned green beans I put up three summers ago?

A. The answers to these and many other questions can be found in The Food Keeper, a free publication developed by the Food Marketing Institute in conjunction with Cornell University’s Institute of Food Science. The publication offers information for each food listed about how long it can be stored in a pantry, refrigerator, or freezer for optimal quality and flavor. In addition to extensive lists of refrigerated, frozen, fresh, and shelf-stable foods and condiments, the publication contains information on food safety and proper food storage.

Keep Food Safe

I found old cans of soup when I cleaned out my grandmother's cupboard. Are they safe? How long will eggs last in the refrigerator? Can I store a frozen turkey in the freezer indefinitely? The answers to these and...


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