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 www.drexel.edu/dontwashyourchicken 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.
2 egg whites
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
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 email@example.com.