Cook Grilled Food Right
Just a few reminders to keep the rest of grilling season safe:
- Keep grills away from wooden decks and low-hanging tree branches.
- Make sure your clothing doesn’t hang over the grill (roll up your sleeves, tuck in your shirt, etc.).
- Keep food in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook it
- Don’t use the same sauce during the meal that you used to brush on raw meat.
- Cook hamburgers to 160 degrees.
- Don’t put cooked food on the same plate that held raw food.
Source: North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension
What does Organic Mean?
When you see the “USDA Organic” label on foods, what does that mean?
The stamp indicates several things:
- Organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products come from animals that are not given antibiotics or growth hormones.
- Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides.
- Before approving the organic seal, government-approved certifiers inspect the farms where organic food is grown to make sure farmers are adhering to the standards.
The USDA seal tells you that a food product is at least 95 percent organic. People who use the seal when they know it doesn’t meet the standards can be fined up to $10,000 for each violation.
The government makes no claim that organic food is safer or more nutritious. It’s up to individual consumers to decide how important it is to them to include organic food in their diets.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Avocado in Your Guacamole?
The next time you pick up guacamole dip at the store, make sure it contains the main ingredient you expect—avocado.
If you look at the ingredients on a lot of guacamole dips, you’ll notice that avocado is often way down on the list, after water, partially hydrogenated oils, corn syrup, modified food starch and salt. Make sure that any guacamole dip you buy lists avocado as the first ingredient.
Avocadoes are good sources of vitamin E and omega three fatty acids. They do contain fat, but it’s monounsaturated—the good kind. Eating guacamole dips without avocado is a waste of calories and money. You’d be better off finding a simple recipe and making the dip on your own.
Source: Center for Science in the Public Interest
Hot Food Hot, Cold Food Cold
During your picnics, remember these basics to prevent food poisoning:
- Hot foods should be kept at 140 F or higher (wrapped in foil or airtight containers).
- Cold food should be kept at 40 F or lower (wrapped in ice packs or coolers).
Keep the hot and cold foods separated, and wrap food back up as soon as you’ve served it.
Source: American Dietetic Association
Alcohol and Hot Weather
At daytime ball games, picnics and other gatherings, be sure to take it easy on the alcohol when you’re out in the sun. Alcohol dehydrates you in general, so imagine what it does to you on a hot day. And if you’re drinking alcohol, you’re less likely to notice or care if you’re getting too hot.
Water is a good choice on hot summer days. Cold soft drinks are appealing, but they too can cause dehydration.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention