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Summer safety tips

Happy Fourth of July! 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 safety

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 USDA suggest four key rules to follow to keep food safe:

Dan Gold - Unsplash
  • 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 barbeque, check out these five easy tips from UC Davis.

Handling food safety on the road 

Image by Mischelle Sandowich from Pixabay

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 1 hour in temperatures above 90 degrees F. And discard any food left out more than 2 hours; after only 1 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!

Be sure to bring plenty of water, too, to stay well-hydrated.

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 suggests the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) mobile heat safety app.

Have a great (and safe) summer! 

Posted on Monday, July 1, 2019 at 1:41 PM
Tags: Brian Oatman (1), Cal/OSHA (1), CDC (2), CDC (2), food safety (2), heat illness (1), NIOSH (1), USDA (2), USDA (2)
Focus Area Tags: Family

Cheers to 40 years! It's time to show off UC Master Gardener Program images of the past and present

The UC Master Gardener Program invites you to stroll down memory lane and share your favorite photos of being a UC Master Gardener volunteer. The program will be celebrating its 40th anniversary (1980 – 2020), and we need your help to tell our story.

Enter the 40th Anniversary Photo Contest for a chance to win prizes and receive recognition among the UC Master Gardener community.

How to enter
Entry is free and open to all past and present UC Master Gardener volunteers. Entries must be submitted electronically by 11:59 PST on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 using the online photo contest submission form.

Please read and review the official photo contest participation guidelines before entering.

  • Images must be smaller than 10MB
  • No limit on number of images
  • Winner selected by popular vote!

Winners
Photographs with the highest overall public votes will be designated as “People's Choice” winners. First, second and third place winners will receive prizes and be showcased on the statewide UC Master Gardener Program website, UC ANR Repository, UC Master Gardener social media channels, program marketing materials and the 2019 annual report. Winners will also be recognized by having their photo displayed in a gallery at the 2020 UC Master Gardener Program statewide conference.

More information about the 2019 UC Master Gardener 40th Anniversary Photo Contest can be found online:

We can't wait to see your beautiful photos!

Questions? Contact:

Donna Valadez
Marketing Assistant, Statewide Office
Email: dnvaladez@ucanr.edu

Enter your favorite photos from the past 40 years to celebrate our anniversary next year!
Our 40th year anniversary aims to honor all UC Master Gardener volunteers, past and present!
Posted on Monday, June 17, 2019 at 9:27 AM

Together, we can make a difference!

UCCE in Kings County leverages community partnerships to increase preschoolers awareness about healthy foods

Early childhood is critical to the development of lifelong healthy living. With this intent, UCCE, in partnership with the Department of Hospitality Management at West Hills Community College-Lemoore and preschools located at the college campus, embraced a collaborative approach to promote healthy eating by helping preschoolers learn about and taste Go Glow Grow foods.

Student teachers lead the physical activity during Week 5

Together, we can make a difference!

An innovative and collaborative integration of research and practice brought diverse stakeholders together.

  • Deepa Srivastava, UCCE Advisor Nutrition, Family & Consumer Sciences from Tulare/Kings initiated the needs assessment, monitored evaluation process, and conducted focus groups.

  • Susan Lafferty, Nutrition Educator of Kings County UC CalFresh nutrition education program implemented the Go Glow Grow curriculum.

  • Nancy Jeffcoach, Site Supervisor of West Hills Child Development Center, Lemoore planned the timeline for preschoolers who received the curriculum.

  • Christian Raia, Program Director /Coordinator Hotel Restaurant Casino Management Faculty-West Hills College planned and supported the culinary students' implementation of food demonstrations, taste tests, and recipe sharing. The reinforcement of Go Glow Grow MyPlate food group concepts was integrated into students' capstone project.

During April and May 2019, collaborative partnership efforts captivated preschoolers' attention with key MyPlate messages and taste tests. Susan Lafferty led six weeks of the Go Glow Grow curricula with 72 preschoolers. Twelve community college students from the culinary department shared recipes and conducted food demonstrations and taste tests. Nine preschool teachers consistently supported the program. Preschoolers received a graduation certificate and a chefs hat upon completing the program.

Preschoolers taste Chicken Soup in the test kitchen

“Glow foods make my hair grow, eyes sparkle, and skin soft."

Initial success stories, lesson observations, and activities indicated increased knowledge of preschoolers about MyPlate food groups and willingness to try foods from all food groups. A majority of preschoolers responded to the importance of eating Go Glow Grow food.

Taking home key messages

It also seems the preschoolers are taking key messages home. One preschool teacher mom shared this story:

So [preschooler name] is eating her dinner and she looks up at me and says, "ya know, chicken isn't on my plate."

"Um, yes it is, it's right there..."

"No," she says,"it's not anywhere on My Plate!"

"Oh, like the healthy choices My Plate? Yes it is, it's protein. I think it's red."

"Red is fruit momma, it's a glow food!"

So at this point I pull up the graphic. She is right–that it would be purple as a protein. She informs me that I should study it. But she'll help me and show me where the vegetables are as she loudly chews a cucumber in my ear. She's been telling me which foods have which vitamins and bringing the conversation to the table at every meal.

"You guys are doing amazing things. I see it in my program and now I get to see it in my child. So thank you!"

 Positive learning experiences result from meaningful interaction

Upon completion of the program, two focus groups were conducted to understand the program impact at the individual and environmental levels of the social-ecological model. It was encouraging to note the response from participating community college students about their learning experiences and the changes that they have observed for themselves and the preschoolers as a result of this program.

A majority of the students indicated that they “loved” Go Glow Grow concepts of MyPlate and the meaningful “interaction” with the preschoolers.

A sustainable foundation is established

Overall, “mutually reinforcing goals, collective impact, commitment, trust, consistency, strong partnerships and communication, curriculum, evaluation tools”- all factored in to keep the momentum for the community partners.

What began as a needs assessment to examine the nutrition practices of early childhood education settings, ended on a promising note to continue promoting the health and well-being of young children. Indeed, a strong and sustainable foundation is established to carry forward UC Agriculture and Natural Resources' strategic initiative of healthy families and communities.

Above and below, community college student teachers with preschoolers who received a certificate and chef's hat.
 

Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 3:16 PM
  • Author: Deepa Srivastava
Focus Area Tags: Family Food Health

Persistence in California Fire Recovery

Feather Falls residents, Butte County 4-H members and family, and SPI foresters gather for a group photo at tree planting event on March 31, 2019 in Ponderosa Fire Area, Feather Falls, CA.

Disturbance. In ecological terms, when a wildfire rages across wild lands, there is a disturbance - a change in the environmental conditions that...

Posted on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 3:15 PM
  • Author: Donovan Hill
  • Author: Kathleen Mowdy

Save-the-Date: Big Dig Day, June 5

BIG DIG DAY!

June 5, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources and the UC Master Gardener Program launches our first ever independent statewide giving day! We call it Big Dig Day—a day to “dig in the soil, dig in your heart, and dig in your wallet to support the programs you care about!”

On World Environment Day—we aim to deepen awareness of the need to preserve and enhance the environment. By donating to the UC Master Gardener Program in your county, you support our mission to extend sustainable gardening practices in thousands of community, school and demonstration gardens gardens across California.

The UC Master Gardener Program delivers solutions to local problems in such areas as green waste, water conservation, pest management, pollinator friendly gardening, growing food and connecting people with nature.

Please join us at midnight on June 5 and be the first to give—or visit us anytime during the 24 hour giving day. Make your gift then share your excitement on social media using #BigDigDay and #DigDeep or call a friend to let them know what's happening.

We hope you will join us on June 5!

Posted on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 3:42 PM
Tags: Bid Dig Day (1)

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