How To Grill Safely

Grilling

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.  

Summer Party Tips: Baby Carrots (Using for Dips) Hot Dogs (Ditching the Guilt), and Watermelon (Finding a Ripe One)

watermelon, carrotsSummer parties often involve dipping, grilling, and happily biting into fresh fruit. Here are some useful things to know about those mini-carrots perfect for dipping into guacamole or hummus, those hot dogs sizzling invitingly on the grill, and that giant watermelon waiting to be sliced. Nothing shouts summer quite as loudly as these foods.  Let's answer some FAQs about these ubiquitous treats.  Note: some questions express concerns about harmful substances in these beloved edibles. 

How do summer squash and winter squash differ?

Winter squash--also known as hard squash--comes in round, elongated, scalloped, and pear- shaped varieties with flesh that ranges from golden-yellow to brilliant orange. Most winter squashes, including acorn, butternut, and buttercup varieties, are vine plants whose fruits are harvested when fully mature. They take longer to mature than summer squash--3 months or more--and are best harvested once the cool weather of fall sets in. Winter squash can be stored for a month or more in a cool basement--hence the name winter squash.

Hot Dogs: What You Should Know about Them

hot dogDoug Sohn owned a Chicago restaurant named Hot Doug's, a popular spot celebrated for its sausage sandwiches.

What Americans Will Be Eating in 2017

Last night, for the first time, my neighborhood Mexican restaurant served me a side dish of   cauliflower rice (sometimes called riced cauliflower).  No, this dish doesn't contain rice; it's grated or chopped cauliflower that  could pass for rice. It's often mixed with other veggies (peas, corn, or diced carrots) and sometimes perked up with seasonings or lime. Cauliflower rice recipes are rampant on the Internet.

 

New Year’s Resolutions For a Safer Kitchen

Rinsing Food Can’t think of any new year’s resolutions because you’re already just about perfect? Shelf Life Advice to the rescue!  Here are some resolutions to obey and even post in your kitchen.  You may already have these posted in your brain if you’ve been an attentive Shelf Life Advice reader for the past few years.  In that case, post them for others who may be preparing food in your kitchen.  These pieces come from indisputably reliable sources—our Advisory Board scientists, government sites, and other food safety experts who have provided content for Shelf Life Advice.

How Long Will They REALLY last? Part II: Perishables

perishable foodPart II: Perishable Foods

 

Perishable foods--the ones kept in the fridge--are the ones consumers are most afraid of.  They worry that expired perishables might make them sick.  It's an almost wasted worry. In general, refrigeration keeps bacteria from growing to sufficient numbers to cause illness. Moreover, the bacteria scientists call "spoilage bacteria"--the ones that ruin the taste, looks, texture, and/or smell of food--grow faster than those that cause illness, so food usually turns yucky and gets discarded before it becomes a menace. 

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.

How Long Will They REALLY Last? Part I: Non-perishables

shelf stable productsPart I - Shelf-Stable Foods

 

The most popular (most often visited) Q/As on Shelf Life Advice are ones that ask, "How long can I keep it?" The product section of Shelf Life Advice provides answers to these questions about specific foods. This article will give you some general guidelines--provided by scientists on the Shelf Life Advice Advisory Board--on various categories of shelf-stable foods.  (Perishables will be discussed next month.) Along with info about how long foods can last (beyond the "use-by" date) are tips on how to extend shelf life beyond the usual expectations. Some foods, if treated right, will essentially last indefinitely. 

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.

 

 
 

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