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food safety

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Back-to-school food safety for parents, kids

Chances are you’ll worry more about finding foods for your child’s lunchbox that they’ll actually eat, than you will about whether those foods will be safe to eat by the time they get there. More than 48 million Americans will become stricken with food poisoning this year. That’s nearly 1 in every six people resulting in 128,000 hospitalizations and more than 3000 deaths. Children are the most vulnerable to foodborne illnesses, so it’s worth taking extra precautions when packing their lunches. “One thing parents might want to do before school starts is pack a simple lunch with a cold source, and leave it on the counter,” said Marianne H. Gravely, Senior Technical Information Specialist of the Food Safety Education Staff at the USDA. “Wait the amount of time the child has to wait until lunch, and see if it’s still cold.” This activity gets the kids involved in their lunch planning but it also starts to teach them to become aware of the…

Keep milk out of the fridge door, and other storage tips

Fridge designers are toying with you. While you think the door shelf looks like it was custom fitted to your milk carton, it turns out, milk stored in the door may make you ill. Store milk on a middle shelf, and only use the door to store items that don’t need to maintain a cool temperature. A well organized fridge is important for safe food storage and also to help you minimize waste. Here are a few tips to from Good Housekeeping UK that will help keep your fridge foods fresher longer. Ideal temperature: Set your temperature gauge between 33ºF and 39ºF so your food items never warm above 41ºF. Avoid putting food that are still warm from dinner in the fridge as they can cause the temperature to rise and spoil other foods — leading to those unpleasant feelings of food poisoning. Storage tips: Keep open jars of jam, jelly or condiments refrigerated. Cooked foods should…