- Author: Rose Marie Hayden-Smith
Happy summer! It's time to get the barbecue grilling and the pool party started. To keep your summer healthy and fun, UC ANR offers some important safety tips.
Food poisoning is a serious health threat in the United States, especially during the hot summer months. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 6 Americans suffer from a foodborne illness each year, resulting in thousands of hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths.
Both the CDC and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggest four key rules to follow to stay food safe:
- Clean: Clean kitchen surfaces, utensils, and hands with soap and water while preparing food. Wash fresh fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water.
- Separate: Separate raw meats from other foods by using different cutting boards. And be sure to keep raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs away from other items in your refrigerator.
- Cook: Cook foods to the right temperature; be sure to check internal temperature by using a food thermometer.
- Chill: Chill raw and prepared foods promptly.
Here are some additional tips from the USDA. Be sure to check out the CDC's comprehensive food safety website, which also has materials in both Spanish and English. For food safety tips in real time, follow USDA Food Safety on Twitter.
Summer also means more outside grilling, which can pose unique food safety concerns. Before firing up the barbecue, check out these five easy tips from UC Davis.
Handling food safety on the road
Before you take off on a road trip, camping adventure or boating excursion, don't forget to consider food safety. You'll need to plan ahead and invest in a good cooler.
Remember, warns the USDA, don't let food sit out for more than one hour in temperatures above 90 degrees F. And discard any food left out more than two hours; after only one hour in temperatures above 90 degrees F.
If there are any doubts about how long the food was out, it is best to throw it out!
Get more food safety tips for traveling from the USDA.
Avoid heat illness
“Summer can be a time for fun and relaxation, but in warm climates, we need to stay aware of the signs of heat illness and help keep our family members and co-workers safe,” says Brian Oatman, director of Risk & Safety Services at UC ANR.
“UC ANR provides comprehensive resources on our website, but it's designed around California requirements for workplace safety.” But, Oatman notes, much of the information applies.
“The training and basic guidance – drink water, take a rest when you are feeling any symptoms and having a shaded area available – are useful for anyone at any time.”
To increase your awareness of heat illness symptoms – and to learn more about prevention – Oatman suggests a few resources.
“Our Heat Illness Prevention page has many resources, including links for training, heat illness prevention plans, and links to other sites. One of the external sites for heat illness that I recommend is the Cal/OSHA site, which spells out the basic requirements for heat illness prevention in the workplace. It's also available in Spanish."
For those on the go, Oatman also recommends the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) mobile heat safety app.
- Author: Cris L. Johnson
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is offering free training on good agricultural practices (GAP) to small farm growers.
- Record keeping
- Harvest activities
- Water testing
- Handling of manure
The sessions are three hours long and will be held at a variety of locations in California including Ventura during October and November.
The Ventura workshop:
Wednesday, October 24 (English/Spanish)
From 9:00 am to 12:00 noon
Crowne Plaza meeting room
450 East Harbor Blvd.
Ventura, CA 93001
For more locations and information about these workshops see this flyer.
- Author: Chris M. Webb
UC ANR’s Spanish News Service website brings Agriculture and Natural Resource information to California residents who are fluent, and more comfortable learning, in Spanish. This is a vital service for all Californians as many of the issues and challenges we face together can only be solved by all of us working together.
This highly organized, visually appealing, and easy to navigate site provides a great deal of information on many important topics. The information can be accessed by audio, video, articles, and blogs.
- Invasive species
- Water quality
- Nutrition and fitness
- Child development
- Preventing obesity and overweight
- Reducing the risk of diabetes
- Natural resources
- Recovering from a natural disaster
- Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
- Preventing and recovering from wildfires
- Money management
- And much more
A similar site is available in English.
- Author: Chris M. Webb
The USDA’s ChooseMyPlate.gov website is full of great information, including sample menus and recipes.
- The Sample Menus for a 2000 Calorie Food Pattern is a 7-day healthy eating template. It is designed to supply the recommended amount of key nutrients. Even better, the food choices were chosen with cost to the consumer in mind. The cost of the menu items is less than the national average spent on food, per person, in a 4-person family.
- White House Recipes is a collection of healthy recipes with easy to follow instructions. Recipes include: Warm Baked Apples with Dried Cherries; Raisins and Blueberries; Broccoli Soup; and Cauliflower Mac and Cheese.
- Food Group Recipes is another wonderful collection of recipes with nutrition in mind. Recipes include: Lemon Velvet Supreme; Corn Chowder; Roasted Root Vegetables; and Outtasight Salad.
- SNAP-Ed Connection Recipe Finderis a fantastic resource. This online collection includes: tips, food safety, and the ability to sort recipes by a wide range of categories. Recipes can be searched by: style, cooking equipment required, menu items, themes, nutrients, and cost.
- Author: Chris M. Webb
The California dairy industry produces the most milk of any state. In addition to milk we also produce many other dairy products including frozen desserts and cheeses. The UC Davis Dairy Research and Information Center is full of fabulous information to help industry professionals.
In addition they also have advice for those who are interested in making dairy products at home.
Their website provides information for:
- Dairy foods
- Dairy food sciences
- Dairy foods history
- Dairy processing
- Goat dairy foods
- Home manufacturing
- Links for further information