Tips for Holidays

Spring Celebrations: What’s on Your Menu?

matzoUSDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline gets extra busy this time of year with brisket, baked ham, and egg questions. Here are some Spring food safety tips based on questions our Hotline Food Safety Specialists have received from callers.

 

How long can I keep a ham in the refrigerator before cooking it? 

 

To answer your question, we need to know what type of ham you’re buying and how it’s packaged. What does the label advise? The label is the best guide for determining storage time. It gives the product name, whether it’s smoked or cured, and whether you must refrigerate it. While USDA doesn’t require manufacturers to list the freshness date on products, many do. Look for the instructions on the label that tell you how long you can keep the product. For example: “Best if used by April 15.”

Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day Without Cabbage Stink

CabbageWhat’s the best way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? With corned beef, cabbage, and beer, of course.  BUT, you reply, the smell of cooked cabbage can ruin the holiday for all.  Cheer up.  That tell-tale scent can be avoided.  Here’s a little-known fact that may help you a lot:  cabbage develops an unpleasant smell only when it’s overcooked.  Why?  Cabbage contains substances that, when broken down, turn into smelly sulfur compounds.  The longer the cabbage is cooked, the worse the odor.

Our 2016 List of Gifts To Please Every Cook

presentsIn the Amana colonies in Iowa, settled by religious German immigrants, the residents built their homes without kitchens because they dined in communal kitchens. The rest of us often cook, eat, and socialize in our kitchens, so a food-related gift item---something edible or some helpful tool for preparing food--is usually welcome.

 

What NOT to Do With Thanksgiving Dinner

TurkeyNo one wants to share Thanksgiving dinner with unwanted, invisible visitors—the kind that can sneak in and cause food-borne illness. But you can keep bacterial growth at bay by following these recommendations from food safety experts.

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