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What People Wonder About Water

We're getting so used to use-by dates that sometimes we hesitate to make decisions without them. For example, when has an unopened bottle of water hung around too long?  Other questions come to mind: Where does bottled water come from? Which is better, bottled water or tap (municipal)?

Farmers' Markets: Why They're So Popular; How to Find One Near Your Home

Farmers' Market

In 1994, when the Department of Agriculture first began publishing a list of farmers' markets in the U.S., the figure was 1,755. By 2011, it was 7,175, and, by August 2012, the number of markets had increased an additional 9.6% to 7,864.  The August 2013 figure was 8,144, a 3.6% increase  above the preceding year.   Growth in the number of markets is slowing down, but it's still ongoing. In 2015, the total was 8,476. 

What Foods are Sold with Restrictions at a Farmers’ Market?

Farmers' MarketRestrictions and prohibitions on what foods can be sold and how they must be handled vary from state to state and from community to community.  You might find the rules  in your state and community listed online.

 

Regulations about foods commonly differentiate between those that are potentially hazardous  and those that are not.  Some farmers’ markets may prohibit all potentially hazardous ones, but most prohibit only some of these and stipulate how those they allow must be handled.  Some foods classified as potentially hazardous include dairy products, meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, sliced melons, raw sprouts, cut tomatoes, tofu, and garlic-in-oil mixtures.   All of these must be kept at the proper cool temperatures to avoid a dangerous level of pathogens.

How To Grill Safely

Grilling

Outdoor cooking was once mainly a summer activity, but now more than 50% of Americans say they do it year round.   Still, the number of grillers dramatically increases in the summer.  So does the amount of food-borne illness.  There is probably some connection between cooking and eating outside and contamination of food.  Perhaps the risk is greater for those cooking and eating away from home (picnicking or camping out) because they may not have access to refrigeration and clean, hot water for washing utensils and hands well.  However, even those grilling and dining in their backyards can benefit from tips on how to produce a safe and healthy meal.  In the U.S., outdoor grills are the cause of 19,000 emergency-room visits and 7,900 home fires every year.  

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