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How to Keep Recalled Foods off Store Shelves and Your Shelves

food recallIt’s a problem well-known by food safety experts but not common knowledge among other consumers: According to the Chicago Tribune, food recalls “routinely fail to recover all of the products they seek and, according to experts, sometimes even leave tainted food in stores, putting consumers at risk of becoming ill from potentially deadly food-borne pathogens.”

 

The article gives statistics to back up its claim.  In 2009, for example, of 59 USDA recalls in which the amount of recalled food sought and the amount actually recovered as known, only 3 recovered all of the product identified as possibly contaminated.  Here’s another example from the same year: out of 460,000 lbs. of ground beef recalled by a Denver processor, only 119,000 were actually recovered.

Is It Time to Switch to Pasteurized Eggs?

EggsThis past summer’s massive recall of half a billion shell eggs no doubt encouraged many consumers to think about making the big switch to pasteurized eggs. According to Davidson’s Safest Choice Pasteurized Shell Eggs, using pasteurized eggs will  “eliminate the risk of foodborne illness and cross-contamination of your kitchen.” Pasteurized eggs are heated to a high enough temperature to kill pathogens but not high enough to cook the eggs. Davidson’s Safest Choice Pasteurized Shell Eggs describe the company’s pasteurization method as a combination of time and temperature; the eggs are moved around in a giant warm bath for almost an hour, thereby killing any bacteria and viruses that are present. 

 

So should you switch to pasteurized eggs? Let’s consider the advantages and disadvantages as well as another important question—will pasteurized eggs spoil the taste of your favorite breakfast and brunch entrées?

Are Soft Cheeses Dangerous?

Soft cheeses“Say cheese,” the photographer says, and the subject can’t help but smile. Indeed, both the word and the food  itself are something to smile about.  As an appetizer, sandwich entrée, or dessert with fruit, cheese is delicious, healthy, and generally a rather low-risk food as far as pathogens go. However, some cheeses can be a threat to  pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems due to illness, old age, or medical treatment.  But consumers can protect themselves if, before consuming or purchasing cheese, they pay attention to the type of cheese and the way it was processed.  Soft cheeses are more likely than hard ones to carry a possibly deadly bacterium, but that doesn’t mean that all soft cheeses are taboo for people in the high-risk categories.

Guide To The Proper Handling of Fresh Vegetables

AsparagusHow long do fresh vegetables  remain safe and tasty to eat? That depends, in part, on how you handle them.  Food scientist Susan Brewer, Ph.D. offers these suggestions on vegetable care from the moment the produce comes home with you to the time when you store the leftovers.

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