Tuesday, June 12, 2012

3 Things Dad Does NOT need for Father's day

Every year we take a day to give our dad thanks for being that special loving guy. We shower him with homemade and store bought gifts. My dad still has mugs and ties from when I gifted them to him over 25 years ago. Every year I think about homemade things I can gift that will be special. Most families host BBQ's or family meals to celebrate the occasion. Three things I know my dad, or any dad for that matter, does not need for fathers day include food borne illness promoters such as Salmonella, Listeria and Campylobacter.

Salmonella is commonly found in poultry products. Salmonella usually becomes a problem when foods are cross contaminated due to mixing raw and cooked foods and handling food with unwashed hands.

Listeria is commonly found in unpasteurized dairy products, raw meat and ready to eat foods such as hot dogs, soft cheeses and deli meats.

Campylobacter is linked to undercooked poultry and cross contamination.

These unwanted pathogens cause hundreds of thousands of people to become hospitalized every year. Since Father's Day falls in a summer month when things are starting to heat up its important to pay close details to how food is prepared in your household. Remember the following tips and you should be good to go this Father's day:

1. Wash hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food.
2. Defrost meat, fish and poultry in the refrigerator or under cold running water. Marinated meats also need to be refrigerated.
3. Keep raw meats separate from cooked food and keep an extra set of utensils and serving platters for the cooked food.
4. Don't cook meat all at one time, choose small batches within 20 minutes of eating.
5. Don't let food sit directly in the sun and discard the food once it has been in the heat for more than 2 hours.
6. Teach your children to wash their hands often and safety when handling food.

Our school and parent "On A Nutrition Mission" boxes are almost here! Stay tuned for more information on how we can help spread the word to parents and schools by helping them make nutrition education fun and exciting.

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