How To Grill Safely


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.  

Ethylene and Produce: Friends or Foes?

applesBuying a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables these days?  Then it's well worth knowing something about ethylene. "What's ethylene?" some may ask.  It's a plant hormone that fruits and vegetables produce naturally as they ripen.  Reducing exposure to ethylene slows the natural ripening, thereby extending produce shelf life.  The problem is that, like many gases, it's sneaky--invisible and odorless.  Nevertheless, you can infer its presence and control it to some extent.

Farmers' Markets in the Time of COVID-19

Yes indeed, farmers' markets are operating again this year dispite COVID-19. The photo you see beside this article is proof positive. Here's what I bought at a farmers' market on opening day (June 7th) in Skokie, IL: from left to right, a Serbian apple pie (much like strudel and delicious), apple butter (like lighter, tasier applesauce), and a portabella mushroom--the biggest I've ever seen.


Why don't packaged foods tell us when the contents will expire after the container is opened?

Consumers often wonder why the answers to this question are not on the jars, bags, and boxes of foods they purchase.  One of the experts who serves on the Shelf Life Advice Advisory Board--food scientist Dr. Catherine Cutter-- has provided us with the following detailed explanation:

A CDC Article on Avoiding Food Poisoning

[Editor's Note: Dear reader: I know you must be quite sick of hearing about germs that can make you sick.

What Does the Word “Foodie” Mean? It Depends Who(m) You Ask

Fancy FoodWhat (or who) is a “foodie”? Is it a compliment or an insult to be called a foodie? Is it a real word with its own unique meaning or just a synonym for “gourmet”? These are some of the profound philosophical questions Shelf Life Advice is about to take up, so don your thinking caps and alert your appetite. This site about to consult the experts—dictionaries, food websites, scientists, and the average person (best example: myself) to learn about the origin, denotations, and connotations of this ubiquitous word.

Try Comfort Foods in Trying Times

A few months before coronavirus took over our lives, I was already planning an article on comfort foods, edibles that could offset the familiar discomforts of winter-- your car sliding into your hostile neighbor's vehicle, your new boots refusing to keep snow from freezing your toes, your kids (and even the dog) all getting drippy noses that last  for the duration of the season. 

New Research and Useful Tips on Extending Shelf Life

Wouldn't you love it if the food you brought home from the grocery store and the leftovers you refrigerated could last longer than they do? This thought is not just an impossible dream.

FDA Makes Available Results from Second Round of Testing for PFAS in Foods from the General Food Supply

Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition - Constituent Update

Tips for Winter Holiday Meals

New Years Eve party toastFrom eggnog to fruitcake and all that’s served in between, our Advisory Board members have provided tips to help make your holiday feast(s) safe and tasty. So let’s get started on our journey through the traditional holiday dinner.



Food process engineer Dr. Tim Bowser provides these tips on handling the season’s traditional alcoholic beverages.


Making and storing eggnog:

Of course, you can buy non-alcoholic eggnog in almost every grocery store this time of year and then add the alcohol. But if you want to make your own, you’ll find some of my favorite recipes are available at the following links.


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