Safe food handing tips offered

by Lori Wuellner

Safe food handling is important and here is some information to drive home some important points about safe food handling

The Partnership for Food Safety Education has a few “true and false” questions to get you thinking. Take the quick Home Food Safety Mythbusters food safety quiz and see how you do.

1. True or False? Rinsing ready to eat greens increases the potential for cross-contamination.
2. True or False? Pathogens are unable to survive and grow in cold temperatures.
3. True or False? You should never dry fresh fruits and vegetables after rinsing them.
4. True or False? There are many ways that bacteria on the outside of a melon can get into the part you eat.
5. True or False? It is recommended not to wash poultry (or any meat) after removing from the packaging and prior to cooking?

1. True- Rinsing of ready-to-eat greens will not enhance the safety, but could increase the potential for cross-contamination. Pathogens that may be on your hands or on the kitchen surfaces could find their way onto your greens in the process of handling them.
2. False- Some bacteria can survive and even grow in cool, moist environments like the refrigerator. In fact, Listeria monocytogenes grows at temperatures as low as 35.6 degrees F.
3. False- Research has found that using a clean cloth or paper towel to blot dry fresh fruit and vegetables further reduces the level of harmful bacteria on the surface of fresh produce. But remember- the towel must be clean!
4. True-There are many ways for pathogens on the outside of the melon to contaminate the edible portion. A knife or peeler passing through the rind can carry pathogens from the outside into the flesh of the melon. The rind also touches the edible portion when cut fruit is arranged or stacked for serving and garnish.
5. True- Rinsing poultry and meat increases the risk for cross-contamination. The splatters from the water can carry the pathogens from the poultry-meat to surrounding surfaces. So, while the poultry-meat may be “clean” on the outside the rest of your kitchen will be a source of contamination. To further illustrate this check out Drexel University’s germ-vision animation at and click on the “click to view animation.”

The following recipe would work as both a quick breakfast or snack with a side of low fat yogurt or skim milk.

Crispy Granola
2 egg whites
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
Dash salt
3 cups uncooked rolled oats (old fashioned or quick cooking)
Optional: ½ cupped chopped pecans or other nuts, ½ cup raisins, dried cranberries, or other dried fruit
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a large shallow baking pan with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
2. Put egg whites in large bowl and use a whisk or fork to mix until frothy. Stir in honey, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt.
3. Add oats plus nuts and/or dried fruit, if desired. Stir until oats are coated with egg mixture. Spread oat mixture evenly on prepared baking sheet.
4. Bake about 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown; stir mixture carefully every 5 or 6 minutes to prevent overbrowning.
5. Remove pan to wire rack and cool completely until crisp and crunchy. Store in an airtight container. Freezes well.
Nutrition Facts per 1/3 cup…150 calories; 5 grams fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 26 grams total carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 12 grams sugar; 4 grams protein
Lori Wuellner is a Wyandotte County Extension agent, Family and Consumer Sciences, K-State Research and Extension, 1216 N. 79th St., Kansas City, Kan. Telephone 913-299-9300, email

Windy weather will cause fire danger Wednesday

The National Weather Service says that there will be a slightly elevated fire danger today across eastern Kansas and western Missouri.

Dry conditions will continue through the upcoming weekend, according to the weather service.

After a quick warm-up today, a series of cold fronts will sweep through and keep temperatures below average.

Wednesday’s forecast is sunny with a high near 65. There will be a southwest wind of 9 to 15, with gusts as high as 22 mph.

Tonight, the low will be 41 degrees.

Thursday’s forecast is sunny with a high near 53. Winds will be 9 to 15 mph with gusts of 22 mph. Thursday night, look for a low of 34.

On Friday, the weather will be mostly sunny, with a high near 58. Winds will be 6 to 14 mph with gusts as high as 18 mph. Friday night, the low will be 43.

On Saturday, temperatures will be 51 with mostly sunny skies. Saturday night’s low will be around 33.

Sunday, look for a high of 57 with mostly sunny skies. Sunday night, the low will be 41.

Roberts, Brownback win re-election; voter turnout low in Wyandotte County

Tuesday night brought an end to the strong independent challenge to U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, the incumbent Republican. The race was deemed significant by national observers as Republicans took control of the U.S. Senate.

While the vote count started very close for the U.S. Senate race, incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts, a Republican, pulled away and was declared the winner by several news sources.

Roberts was ahead by 8 percentage points by around 10:15 p.m., with not all of the votes counted yet. Orman conceded and congratulated Sen. Roberts on his victory, while Roberts praised Orman’s campaign, and thanked his supporters.

Wyandotte County voters went 64 percent for Orman and 32 percent for Roberts.

But voter turnout was down in Wyandotte County compared to past midterm elections. Only 28,597 votes were cast in Wyandotte County, a 34.7 percent turnout of the 82,319 registered voters. Previous midterm elections were in the 40 percent range.

Kelly Kultala, of Kansas City, Kan., who challenged U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-3rd Dist., was behind 61 percent to 39 percent in the district at 10:15 p.m. She carried the Wyandotte County portion with 63 percent of the vote here. The final unofficial vote was 60 percent for Yoder and 40 percent for Kultala district-wide, and 60 percent for Kultala and 40 percent for Yoder in Wyandotte County.

Gov. Sam Brownback was leading 49 percent to Paul Davis’ 47 percent of the vote at 10:15 p.m., with more than 900 precincts still out statewide. By shortly after 11 p.m., Davis conceded the victory to Brownback. By 11:40 p.m., Brownback was leading 50 percent to 46 percent, with 356 precincts still out.

In Wyandotte County, Davis won with 66 percent of the vote to Brownback’s 31 percent.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a Republican, had a large lead over challenger Jean Kurtis Schodorf, a Democrat, at 10:15 p.m. Kobach had a 6 percentage point lead. The lead extended to 8 percent by 11:40 p.m.

In Wyandotte County, Kobach’s home county, Schodorf won with 60 percent of the vote to Kobach’s 41 percent.

In the state legislative contests, incumbent Rep. Tom Burroughs, D-33rd Dist., the assistant House minority leader, beat back a strong challenge from Sue Adams of Edwardsville. Burroughs had 51 percent of the vote to Adams’ 49 percent, an edge of only 148 votes. Burroughs’ district boundaries had changed quite a lot during redistricting.

Rep. Kathy Wolfe Moore, D-36th Dist., won by a 62 percent to 34 percent margin over Republican challenger Earl Freeman.

In a close contest, Kansas Board of Education, 1st District, incumbent Janet Waugh, a Democrat from Kansas City, Kan., was leading with 54 percent of the vote over Republican challenger Nancy Klemp of Leavenworth. Eighty of the 196 precincts were reporting. The final unofficial vote was 53 percent for Waugh and 47 percent for Klemp.

In the Wyandotte County portion of the 1st District, Waugh received 67 percent of the vote.

A constitutional amendment to allow raffles for charitable organizations was passing with 75 percent of the vote. The state would regulate these raffles.