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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.

 

BEVERAGES

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.

Six Tips for Extending the Shelf Life of Foods

FridgeDo your blueberries or cheeses get moldy within a few days of purchase?  Does the milk you opened 5 days ago already smell sour? Shelf Life Advice can come to your rescue with seemingly endless tips on ways to keep your food fresh longer. The site’s “search” feature can lead you to money-saving info on hundreds of specific products—scientific data on the best ways to select, handle, wrap, store, and refrigerate specific foods to keep them from spoiling prematurely.  In this article, we’ve pulled together some general guidelines on extending shelf life, based upon the expertise of our Advisory board food scientists.  We’ve also provided links to several other Shelf Life Advice write-ups dealing with best food handling practices.

Crock Pot Cooking Tips for that Ideal Winter Dinner

Crockpot Crock pot cooking becomes much more popular in the wintertime. I think that people definitely eat more in the winter, and hot, warming foods are favorites. Foods with a lot of liquid, steam and a pleasant aroma) seem to have extra appeal. Maybe it’s because of the warmth that the liquid (I’m thinking of a bowl of soup) can give to your body as it’s consumed. The steam from the food also warms up the air around the cooker, the bowl, and the entire room.

Going Away for All or Part of the Winter? Prepare Your Kitchen for your Absence

Fridge

If you’re going to be vacationing away from home for a few weeks or even months, lucky you!  But you won’t feel so lucky if you come home to a smelly or germ-laden refrigerator and a freezer with a sticky mess of melted ice cream. When considering the proper way to prepare your kitchen for your absence, consider your answers to these questions:

Yikes! The Turkey Is Done, But the Guests Are Delayed! How Do I Keep My Thanksgiving Dinner Warm?

Woman serving Thanksgiving TurkeyThe turkey is done, but where are the guests? Winter weather and too much traffic can slow down cars and planes. And then there are those who live around the corner from you but are chronically late for everything. Don’t invite them next year. Find prompter friends. But that doesn’t solve this year’s problem: how to keep food at a safe and appetizing temperature while waiting for dilatory diners. This article will cover holding techniques used by experts.  But first, some basics about food safety and the definition of a cooked turkey.

Using a Turkey Fryer: Tips and Warnings

Turkey FryerThere have been a lot of advancements in turkey fryers over the years, and I think that in general, the newer fryers are much safer than the older, open-pot, open-flame models. At least one manufacturer offers an oil-free turkey fryer (www.masterbuilt.com), which looks a lot more like a smoker than a fryer to me, but it must be safer than the oil-filled alternative!

 

Electric turkey fryers have the advantage of no open flame to possibly ignite the oil.  This is why many can be used indoors. Also, the temperature controls on an inexpensive electric-powered home fryer are more likely to be automated than on the gas version. Finally, the indoor turkey fryers can be used for conveniently frying other foods plus many can be used for steaming too. One negative aspect of frying indoors is the odor and airborne oil particles that invade your home.

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.

Dark Times Lie Ahead; Enjoy These Scary Food Stories

No doubt about it, darker times are coming, as they do every year about now. First, there's Halloween night; then there's the sad loss of daylight savings time, which forces us to be groping about in the dark; then we get to snowstorms and seemingly endless winter (brrrr) if you live in the "right" places in the U.S. Anyway, enough stalling.

 
 

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