Cook Chicken Safely
You need to be careful when you’re cooking chicken, especially when you’re handling it raw.
- Don’t let the raw juices touch cooked food or any food that you’ll be eating raw.
- Be sure to clean the utensils and cutting board you’ve used for raw chicken before you use them for anything else.
- Defrost chicken in the refrigerator. Allow 1 to 2 days for chicken with the bone in, and overnight for boned chicken.
- Chicken is cooked when the temperature reaches 180 degrees, the juices run clear and the meat is tender, not rubbery.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Plastic or Wooden Cutting Board?
As it turns out, the most important issue when it comes to cutting boards is not whether they’re plastic or wooden, but whether you clean them well enough to get rid of bacteria. In either type of cutting board, bacteria can get down in the grooves that cutting action eventually creates in the surface. It can actually be a little more difficult to remove bacteria from plastic boards by hand washing.
- If you have a dishwasher, use it to wash your cutting boards
- Keep cutting boards dry when you’re not using them. Bacteria can’t survive without moisture.
- Use a mild bleach solution to clean plastic boards. Bleach doesn’t work on wooden boards.
- A spray of vinegar, then a spray of hydrogen peroxide, will clean either type of board.
- You can cook a wooden board at high heat in an 800-watt microwave oven for 10 minutes to kill germs. This doesn’t work on plastic, however.
Source: University of Florida College of Health and Human Performance
Foods that are Choking Hazards
The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a watchdog nutrition organization, is urging companies to use warning labels on foods that pose serious choking risk to children. According to the group, at least one child dies from choking every five days.
The most dangerous foods include hot dogs, sausages, candies, gum, grapes, apples, carrots, marshmallows, popcorn, raisins, cheese cubes, peanut butter and nuts. Children younger than five are at greatest risk. Parents should chop these foods into small pieces that won’t obstruct the airways.
Source: Center for Science in the Public Interest
How Long are Leftovers Safe?
Do you sometimes feel like you’re taking a risk by eating that leftover that’s been in the refrigerator for 10 days? You probably are. Here’s a list of some common foods and how long they’re safe in the refrigerator:
Juices in open cartons: 7 to 10 days
Pizza 3 to 4 days
Fried chicken 3 to 4 days
Cooked meat and
meat casseroles 3 to 4 days
Cooked fish 3 to 4 days
Hard boiled eggs 1 week
Egg, chicken, ham,
tuna, macaroni salad 3 to 5 days
Open hot dog package 1 week
Open lunch meat 1 week
Open cheese 3 to 4 weeks
Cream cheese 2 weeks
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture; The Food Keeper, Food Marketing Institute
Five a Day. Five What?
You hear it a lot—“get your five a day.” Five what, you might wonder. Five fruits and vegetables. That’s the minimum amount recommended for a balanced diet that can contribute to a lowered risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and other chronic illnesses.
Five a day might sound like a lot. In fact, each fruit or vegetable serving needs to be only about a half cup. That’s not so hard, is it? Add a little broccoli to a salad, put fruit on your cereal, put tomatoes and carrots on a sandwich, have some zucchini in your pasta…and there you are.
Remember to eat fruits and veggies of many colors. That helps you get the different vitamins and minerals you need. It makes your plate prettier too!