September brings both National Food Safety Education Month and the end of summer. As we wrap up this great time of year, let's take a look at ways to keep our food safe and avoid food waste as we enjoy the last of our BBQ's, swim parties and warm-weather adventures.
1. When serving food at a buffet, keep hot food hot with chafing dishes, slow cookers, and warming trays. Keep cold food cold by nesting dishes in bowls of ice or use small serving trays and replace them often.
Once we've finished preparing our food, it's easy to set it out for our families and friends to dig in without thinking about it staying fresh. Make sure your hot foods stay hot and your cold foods stay cold when you serve.
2. Always refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours (1 hour when the temperature is above 90 °F).
Make sure to put all of your perishable foods in shallow dishes and place them in an ice chest or refrigerator within the recommended time frames above.
3. Use most cooked leftovers within 3 to 4 days.
Add leftovers to your weekly menu as soon as possible so you don't waste food or eat food when it is no longer safe. For more information about leftovers, click here.
Source: USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service
Have leftover chicken? Use it up with the recipe below:
Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli
and Rice Bake
Image Source: tastykitchen.com
5 cups water
2 1/2 cups rice
1/4 cup onion (chopped)
1 garlic clove (chopped)
1 cup milk (skim)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (10.75 ounces, condensed, 98% fat-free)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, low-fat (grated)
2 cups chicken (shredded, cooked)
2 cups broccoli (pieces)
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. In large saucepan bring water to
boil. Add rice, onion, and garlic. Cook for about 20 minutes
or until rice is soft.
2. While rice is cooking combine milk, soup, salt, and pepper, mix well. When rice is done combine with milk mixture, chicken and broccoli, mix well.
3. Grease 9 x 13 pan and pour mixture into pan. Bake in the preheated
oven for 18 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for another 6 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.
Recipe Source: What's Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl