Here’s a glimpse of this weekend in New Orleans. Not the citywide Jazz Fest, just a local celebration.
While it’s always good to be wary of public education campaigns driven by commercial interests, a new effort by the food industry to communicate about preventing food borne illness by improving home food safety has a few worthy elements. The new “Mythbusters” campaign aims to increase safe food handling in homes, which are the source for about 9% of food-related sickness in the United States each year. Commercial or restaurant kitchens are the source for most food borne disease, accounting for about seven times more cases than private kitchens.
The skeptic in me questions why backers like Foster Farms, Cargill, and the trade associations representing manufacturers of most of the food items that wind up in grocery stores and commercial kitchens, want to shine the light on home kitchens more than safety improvements in industrial food processing. To be fair, the large companies do pay attention to food safety, and I am unlikely to ever be completely comfortable eating factory-farmed, processed products. If they are doing their part, then asking consumers to be careful with home food safety, too, probably makes sense.
Food safety is serious business. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3,000 people die every year from consuming contaminated food or beverages, many thousands more are sickened.
Food prepared in home kitchens accounts for a lot of illness, but it’s a minor factor compared to restaurants or delis where many people can be exposed to contamination. Based on 10 years of data, the CDC estimates that nearly 7 out of every 10 cases of food borne illness are traced to restaurants, 1 out of every 10 to foods prepared in a private home, and the rest are attributed to caterers or institutional kitchens.
The project’s website has fact sheets, videos, and other resources to help families keep their home kitchens and the foods they eat safer. For example, a safe school lunch flyer reminds people to use separate cutting boards for meats and vegetables and use insulated bags, freezer gel packs or a frozen juice box to help keep lunches safe after they go out the door.
Washington state health authorities safe trying to determine how more than 55 people were sickened with salmonella in recent weeks. Two were hospitalized.
Preliminary investigation suggests whole pig roasts at private events may have been a common factor in the salmonella cases.
Health officials recommend that pork should be cooked to at least 145 degrees before being served. Even when cooked, food can be contaminated if such things as utensils, cutting boards, or hands are used to handle raw meat and cooked meat without proper washing between each.
Read more at::
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that pieces of rubber from a conveyor belt were found in this turkey sausage product that is being recalled.
New research on profitability is very good news for farmers considering switching to organic. Read more: Organic farming isn’t just environmentally friendly – it’s very good business for farmers – The Washington Post
One of the highlights of summer in the city is the array of festivals each year. In northern Manhattan, Drums Along The Hudson is an annual Native American festival that has become an annual attraction, drawing hundreds from the local neighborhoods and beyond. Traditional foods like fry bread, storytelling, and face painting are among the highlights, along with performances and demonstrations of dances and chants passed on from generations of indigenous peoples.
Here’s a short video that captures the spirit:
Here's 45-seconds that I hope captures the spirit of today's Drums Along the Hudson festival of Native American culture, held in Inwood Hill Park. (Good shot of Luis Ramos dancing at the end.)
Posted by Doug Levy on Sunday, June 14, 2015