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Using Winter Down Time to Review Food Safety

| 1/2/2013 11:03:06 AM

Okay, so the canning/food preservation season is probably over for most of us. Boo hiss! I love the gardening season. Those people living in warmer, Western states may still be harvesting goodies, but the majority of us are hunkered down for winter. Brrr!

However, these housebound times are perfect opportunities for learning and reviewing. Many of us use the time to do more “serious” cooking with our harvested summer goodies. And, it may sound weird, but even the most seasoned food preservers and cooks need to police themselves when it comes to food safety. Did you know that 80% of flu-like symptoms are actually caused by a food-borne illness? Even those of us committed to living green by raising and eating our own organic food are at risk of  becoming sick from dangerous pathogens.

Just for fun, I’ve been going back through my master food preservation class notes and tests, looking for potentially helpful information to share. Get ready--I found many good reminders! So, how about taking a short quiz to test your mettle when it comes to general food safety? See if you pick the correct answer to the following (the answers are included at the end of the quiz).

1.  If you have a large pan of hot, split pea soup that you want to save for later, you should:

            (a)  Put it right from the stove into the refrigerator so it will cool fast.
            (b) Take off the lid, let it cool on the counter, then refrigerate it.
            (c) Set the pan of hot soup into a sink filled with ice water, and stir to cool (to  about 100 deg. F), then refrigerate in a shallow pan.
            (d) Put the hot pan in the freezer to cool quickly.

2.  Leftovers should be reheated to what temperature to cool pathogens?

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