Seasonal Tips

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.  

Summer Party Tips: Baby Carrots (Using for Dips) Hot Dogs (Ditching the Guilt), and Watermelon (Finding a Ripe One)

watermelon, carrotsSummer parties often involve dipping, grilling, and happily biting into fresh fruit. Here are some useful things to know about those mini-carrots perfect for dipping into guacamole or hummus, those hot dogs sizzling invitingly on the grill, and that giant watermelon waiting to be sliced. Nothing shouts summer quite as loudly as these foods.  Let's answer some FAQs about these ubiquitous treats.  Note: some questions express concerns about harmful substances in these beloved edibles. 

How do summer squash and winter squash differ?

Winter squash--also known as hard squash--comes in round, elongated, scalloped, and pear- shaped varieties with flesh that ranges from golden-yellow to brilliant orange. Most winter squashes, including acorn, butternut, and buttercup varieties, are vine plants whose fruits are harvested when fully mature. They take longer to mature than summer squash--3 months or more--and are best harvested once the cool weather of fall sets in. Winter squash can be stored for a month or more in a cool basement--hence the name winter squash.

New Year’s Resolutions For a Safer Kitchen

Rinsing Food Can’t think of any new year’s resolutions because you’re already just about perfect? Shelf Life Advice to the rescue!  Here are some resolutions to obey and even post in your kitchen.  You may already have these posted in your brain if you’ve been an attentive Shelf Life Advice reader for the past few years.  In that case, post them for others who may be preparing food in your kitchen.  These pieces come from indisputably reliable sources—our Advisory Board scientists, government sites, and other food safety experts who have provided content for Shelf Life Advice.

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