Tips for Holidays

Halloween Treats Even Parents Will Love

HalloweenWhat a dilemma! You don’t want to contribute to the junk food or childhood obesity problems now rampant in the U.S., but you have to hand out something kids will consider a treat and something their parents will allow them to eat.  Here are some suggestions:

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.

Chocolate Is Even More Healthful Than You Thought

chocolate Thinking of giving--or sharing with--your sweetheart something sweet for Valentine' Day, for example a box of chocolates?  Well, why not?  Chocolate is not only delicious but, for an ever-increasing number of reasons, is actually healthful (in modest amounts).

There are many good reasons for eating chocolate regularly—from boosting your mood to contributing to your good health.  Moreover, Shelf Life Advice told you about a study proclaiming that chocolate may even help you stay thin!  To see that article, click here http://shelflifeadvice.com/content/latest-good-news-about-chocolate. To learn about many other benefits of eating chocolate, just keep reading.

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