Content provided by: Tiffani Ghere, Clinical Pediatric Dietitian

Learning to cook, and showing your children how to make a treasured family recipe, can be rewarding and enjoyable — as long as you remember to share a few tips. Information about food safety is more readily available today than ever, right at the tip of your fingers. See how much you already know — and what you may have to learn.

FOOD SAFETY TERMS

"SELL BY" DATE
This is printed by the manufacturer for the supermarket. If not sold by the date shown, the store should remove it. Depending on what food the can or package contains, you may keep it beyond this date safely.

"EXPIRATION" DATE
This is the last day the food is safe to eat. If you haven't eaten the food by this date, throw it out. You risk illness if you consume it past its expiration date.

"BEST IF USED BY" DATE
This food has a guaranteed peak of freshness, as long as it's stored properly. After this date, it may be safe to consume, but freshness, nutrition, and quality may be lessened.

FOOD-BORNE ILLNESSES

LISTERIA
Found in unpasteurized milk, cheese, vegetables, poultry, meats, seafood.
Onset: 3-70 days
Prevention: pasteurization of foods

SALMONELLA
Most commonly associated with poultry, meat products, milk, eggs and protein foods.
Onset: 6-48 hours
Prevention: thoroughly cook meats and proper hand washing

SHIGELLA
Originates from human feces and flies.
Onset: 12-50 hours after exposure
Prevention: Safe food handling, hand washing, and clean water sources.

STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS
Carried by the skin, nose, throat, and open sores of humans and animals most often found in reheated foods.
Onset: 1-6 hours.
Prevention: Hand washing and glove use.

CLOSTRIDIUM
Found in improperly cooked meats or meats held at unsafe temperatures. Found in human intestinal tract, animals and soil.
Onset: 1-6 hours
Prevention: Hand hygiene and careful temperature control (including cooling and reheating).

CLOSTRIDIUM BOTULINUM
Associated with canned goods, low acid foods.
Onset: 12-36 hours
Prevention: Careful temperature control for ready-to-eat foods, and avoidance of home-canned goods. 

FOOD SAFETY QUIZ

How much do you know about food safety?

1. Which foods are most likely to grow microorganisms?
a. moist food
b. dry food
b. salty food

2. Salmonella is least likely to be found in which food?
a. tomatoes
b. watermelon
c. egg salad
d. cocoa powder

3. Store poultry, fish or meat at what temperature?
a. below 30 degrees
b. below 41 degrees
c. below 47 degrees

4. Poultry should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of:
a. 185 degrees
b. 165 degrees
c. 145 degrees

5. Food can be thawed under running water.
a. true
b. false

6. Syrup or honey that has grown yeast will most likely:
a. display a blue-green, fuzzy growth
b. appear pink
c. appear sunken in the center of the container

7. Listeriosis is very dangerous for pregnant women and can be caused by:
a. deli foods
b. eggs
c. blueberries

ANSWERS
1. moist food - Microorganisms (MO’s) (bacteria, fungi,etc) love a warm, moist dark
environment with a suitable food source. The optimal temperature range
for microorganisms to grow is between 41- 140 degrees F.
2. cocoa powder - Cocoa powder is dry. MO’s prefer a moist environment in which to flourish.
3. temps below 41 degrees - See response to #1
4. 165 degrees
5. true - If the water is less than or equal to 70 degrees F
6. appears pink
7. deli foods - There is a chance that contamination may occur in ready-to-eat foods
such as hot dogs and deli meats because contamination may occur after
cooking and before packaging.

* Derived from materials from RD 411

BASIC KITCHEN TOOLS & EQUIPMENT
Baking sheet or tray
Cookware (pots and frying pan)
Cutting boards (meat and vegetables/fruits -- one for each)
Knives (chef’s, paring, sharpening steel knife)
Measuring cups  (1/4 cup through 4 cups -- for measuring both liquid and dry ingredients)
Measuring spoons 
Mixing bowls
Paper towels
Vegetable peeler