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Warm weather warnings for shellfish lovers nationwide

Photo courtesy of the University of Florida

From the Pacific Northwest to the Florida Keys, public health officials warn of increasing dangers from foodborne bacteria in raw and undercooked oysters and other shellfish as summer approaches. “Naturally occurring bacteria in warm coastal seawater becomes more abundant in the summer months and can concentrate in the tissues of oysters and other shellfish,” according… Continue Reading

Make sure your Cinco de Mayo menu doesn’t include pathogens

Cinco de Mayo meal

Although it is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, in the United States Cinco de Mayo has become increasingly popular, partly because it provides those with ties to Mexico to celebrate its customs and culture and partly because of the marketing efforts of the fresh produce industry. The annual remembrance of the Mexican army’s 1862… Continue Reading

Keep the love alive …

... and the pathogens dead; be safe with Valentine's Day oysters

illustration Valentine dinner

Oysters and champagne. Love is in the air. It must be Valentine’s Day. Yes, indeed, oysters have long been associated with romance — the perfect aphrodisiac. There’s actually some science to back that up, although it’s about the way rats, not humans, responded to oysters in a 2005 study done by a team of Italian… Continue Reading

Seven-layer dip to die for? Keep your Super Bowl buffet safe

illus chick unsportsmanlike conduct

The holidays have come and gone, and many of us have started the countdown to kickoff Sunday at NRG Stadium in Houston. Like so many Americans, I get pretty excited about the Super Bowl – especially if my home team, Pittsburgh, is playing. Now, I’m not going to profess tremendous knowledge about football, but I do… Continue Reading

Food safety educator’s take on sprouts — cook them to kill risk

Contributed

cooking sprouts frying pan

Editor’s note: The Food and Drug Administration published draft guidance for sprout growers in recent days and is accepting public comments. In the meantime, Jane Hart of the Michigan State Universty Extension program offers practical advice for consumers in this column originally published on the Extension website. Have you noticed ever so often, you hear… Continue Reading

Tips to help expectant moms safely ring in the New Year

Contributed

illustration pregnant eggnog warning

Editor’s note: This column by Luis Delgadillo of the food safety education staff at the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service was first published by USDA on Dec. 22. Most expectant mothers know about the dangers of consuming alcohol while pregnant and opt for sparkling juices instead of champaign to toast the New Year. But, many… Continue Reading

CDC identifies bacteria that killed 3 who ate church meal

Photo illustration

A Thanksgiving Day meal served by a church group in Antioch, CA, that killed three people was evidently contaminated with the bacteria Clostridium perfringens. “Clostridium perfringens is one of the most common foodborne illnesses in the U.S. It can be found in the human intestine without hurting us, but eating food containing large amounts of… Continue Reading

Researchers discover how foodborne pathogen triggers GBS

Linda Mansfield Photo courtesy of MSU

Public health officials have known for some time that Guillain-Barre Syndrome could be triggered by the foodborne Campylobacter jejuni, but a research team at Michigan State University only recently discovered how the pathogen commonly found in undercooked chicken leads to the paralyzing neuromuscular disorder. Funded by the federal government’s National Institutes of Health Enterics Research… Continue Reading

Baking this weekend? Just say no to the raw dough

Contributed

Dad baking cookies

Editor’s note: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention originally published this article on Nov. 22. For many people, the holiday season is the perfect time to spend time together in the kitchen and share delicious baked foods and desserts. Follow these safety tips to help you and your loved ones stay healthy when handling… Continue Reading

Get stuffed — just use a thermometer before you unstuff

Contributed

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-turkey-served-chef-serving-stuffed-garnished-grapes-image35531527

Editor’s note: Ben Chapman, a food safety researcher and holiday meal enthusiast, originally published this column in the North Carolina State University News.  As a Canadian in the U.S., I’ve fully embraced the holiday season that runs from Thanksgiving through December. I enjoy spending a day planning and shopping for an event-style meal and then another… Continue Reading