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.”

Kitchen Gifts that Really Please

teamakerLet's face it, gift-giving can be a chore.  Even now, when online buying lets you avoid store lines, it's often difficult to decide what to give.  It's not always easy to think of items that the folks on your gift list will want and/or need.  And, admit it, you also want your gifts to show what a clever and imaginative gift-giver you are.  Shelf Life Advice is here to help. 

 

Since everyone eats, let's think food and cooking utensils--items that help a chef handle foods more safely, easily, or successfully.  Here are our 2013 gift suggestions, gleaned from our Advisory Board scientists, various publications, online sites, and our own huge collection of gadgets. In this list, you may find appropriate gifts for winter holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, house-warming, even grab bags. 

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.

Everything You Need to Know about Cranberry Sauce

CranberriesIf there are no cranberries on the table, it can’t be Thanksgiving, right? That’s true now, but maybe not for the Plymouth colonists. They didn’t have enough sugar to make the sweetened cranberry sauce that’s on every holiday table today. If they had cranberries at all, they probably put them in the turkey stuffing, which you can do, too, if you’re striving for a very authentic meal. At any rate, cranberries in some form are a must on this holiday, so read on for facts about proper preparation of the popular Thanksgiving side dish, cranberry sauce.

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