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Health And Safety

Cook Slow to Save Time: Four Important Slow Cooker Food Safety Tips

With work, school, sports practices, music lessons and homework time filling up the calendar, the back-to-school season can be hectic. During this busy time of year, having dinner waiting for you when you come home can make life so much easier. That’s why a lot of people choose to use slow cookers. No more standing in front of the refrigerator trying to make decisions about what to have for dinner after a long day at work. No more trying to balance food prep and homework. Just throw the ingredients in the slow cooker before work and turn it on!

If Kibbeh Is On Your Menu, Consider Cooking It

Kibbeh is a Middle Eastern and North African dish traditionally prepared with a combination of red meat, usually beef or lamb, raw onion, cracked wheat, and spices. Although there are some versions of the dish that are baked or fried (such as Kibbeh raas, quipe, Kubba halab, or Kibbeh bil sinieh), others (like Kibbeh nayyeh) are prepared and served raw.

Don’t Let Food Poisoning Sideline Your Tailgating Party

Fall is a great time to get outdoors — the weather is mild, and there are so many great activities to choose from: picnics in the park, hiking, apple picking and every sports fan’s favorite — tailgating. But even the most devoted fan could be sidelined with foodborne illness if they’re not careful with food preparation and storage. When planning your tailgate or other outdoor activity this fall, follow these food safety tips:

Keep Playground Germs off of the Dinner Table

It’s September, which means the kids are back in school. They will be taught reading, writing and arithmetic, but there’s one lesson they might not be getting in the classroom – proper hand washing. This month, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue signed a proclamation (PDF, 346 KB) naming September National Food Safety Education Month. As part of that effort, USDA is encouraging parents, teachers and caregivers to help prevent the spread of foodborne illness (or food poisoning), by using proper handwashing techniques to avoid bringing germs from the playground to the dinner table.

National Preparedness Month (NPM): Preparing for a Possible Weather Emergency

The last severe weeks have shown how devastating natural disaster can be. In Texas and Louisiana, hundreds of thousands of people were left without electricity and billions of dollars of property damage was sustained from Hurricane Harvey. Shortly after, Hurricane Irma became one of the strongest hurricanes ever, barreling through the Caribbean and southeastern U.S. In light of these recent disasters, it’s important to remember there are simple steps you can take to minimize food loss and reduce your risk of foodborne illness during and after severe weather and power outages.

USDA Integrates Recalls Information into ‘FoodKeeper’ Application

The Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced new updates to its popular FoodKeeper application that will provide users with new access to information on food safety recalls. The app has been updated so users can choose to receive automatic notifications when food safety recalls are announced by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the Department of Health and Human Service’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Are You Sure It Wasn’t Food Poisoning?

The United States food supply is one of the safest in the world; however, that doesn’t mean our food is free from all pathogenic bacteria. As we celebrate National Food Safety Education Month this September, the United States Department of Agriculture, along with our partners at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, want you to know that it is possible for your food to be almost completely safe from pathogenic bacteria by following the four basic steps to food safety.

Packed Lunches: Cutting Corners, But Not Food Safety

As a working mom of four boys, ages 8 and under, I’m asked on a near-daily basis: “how do you DO it?!” It’s a carefully orchestrated dance: keeping my family fed, healthy, dropped off at school and daycare at the appropriate times, with their respective accompaniments, whether homework, snacks or lunches. And then in the evening, allowing opportunity to focus on homework and dinner, without sacrificing quality family time. Making this happen on a daily basis takes a keen attention to detail, a little luck and some advanced planning.

Food Allergies: Supporting Safety in the School Environment

May is peak time for seasonal allergies, so it’s also a great time to learn more about how food allergies affect children and the critical role schools play in keeping children who suffer from them safe at school.  Understanding food allergies and identifying allergic reactions could even help save lives, which is why the Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has designated it as “National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.”