food at homeThe Catalyst Online reports that the recent spinach-implicated E. coli outbreak has many people talking about food safety—as they should be. According to an article published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 76 million cases of foodborne illness and 5,000 foodborne illness-related deaths occur in the United States each year.

A food safety scare such as the E.coli outbreak often prompts people to practice higher levels of good food safety habits. This extreme level of diligence normally fades over time as the immediate threat diminishes, and things seemingly return to normal. This particular outbreak represents a food safety crisis that could occur at a nationwide level. However, the biggest threat of foodborne illness and food safety is probably much closer to home—in your own kitchen.

Some of the most common mistakes made in the home kitchen that are associated with food safety issues are:Continue Reading Practice safe food handling in your own kitchen

Don’t let food safety mistakes spoil your tailgating party, said Karen Blakeslee, Kansas State University Research and Extension food scientist.
Blakeslee is an avid football fan and experienced tailgater, but on any given game day, she may see fans who risk food-borne illness unnecessarily.
“Washing your hands before and after handling food is critical,” she said. “Water may not be readily available, but tailgaters can either bring a jug of water, soap and towels or, brush off surface dirt and use pre-packaged towelettes or a hand sanitizer.Continue Reading Tips for tailgaters: Avoid food safety mistakes

Leslie Johnes of Best Syndication reports that the bacteria that cause food poisoning are difficult to detect by a food’s appearance, taste or smell. But they can cause illness ranging from mild to very severe and even life-threatening.
The human body ordinarily is well-equipped to deal with these bacteria, but individuals with weakened immune systems–such as those with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and those infected with the human immunodefiency virus (HIV)–can be far greater risk of serious illness. Because of their weakened immune systems, these individuals are more susceptible to contracting a foodborne illness. Once contracted, these infections, with their severe vomiting and diarrhea, can be difficult to treat and they can come back again and again. This can further weaken the immune system and hasten the progression of HIV infection and be fatal for person with AIDS.
Since most foodborne illnesses result from improper handling of food, person with AIDS or HIV infection can help themselves by following basic food safety guidelines. Applying these guidelines when buying, preparing and storing food, along with having a basic knowledge of the most common harmful bacteria and the foods on which they are found or can grow, can allow persons with AIDS to eat defensively while choosing a nutritious diet.Continue Reading Eating Defensively: Food safety advice for persons with AIDS

How do you make sure that the food you eat is safe? Take these simple steps to help prevent food poisoning in your kitchen.
Despite the occasional news report of an outbreak of food poisoning, food supplies in the United States are inspected and generally very safe. But it’s impossible to keep the entire food supply completely free of potentially dangerous bacteria. For this reason, you need to take precautions at home to prevent food poisoning.Continue Reading 8 ways to prevent food poisoning at home

The Journal News (New York) reports that the state Health Department and Department of Agriculture and Markets have tips on how to properly prepare food for picnics and barbecues. Foodborne illnesses increase during the summer because harmful bacteria grow fastest in warmer temperatures.
Temperature control is the key to safe food preparation. Bacteria multiply rapidly at room temperature, but do not grow well at temperatures at or below 40 degrees. Perishable foods like poultry, shellfish, eggs and dairy products should be refrigerated if they will not be used within two hours.Continue Reading State offers cooking tips