A Thanksgiving Food Safety Quiz
By Linda F. Golodner

Wondering how long your leftover holiday food will last once refrigerated or frozen? Consult this handy Foodsafety.gov chart.

Wondering how long your leftover holiday food will last once refrigerated or frozen? Consult this handy Foodsafety.gov chart.

Preparing a Thanksgiving feast is really an exercise in project management. Whether you are “sub-contracting” the sides or coordinating everything from “soup to nuts” yourself, an awareness of food safety is essential to reach the goal of a delicious, safely prepared meal. Take the quiz below to test your knowledge of food safety for the big day ahead.

True or False:

1. The top shelf of the refrigerator is the worst place to store a raw turkey until it is time to be cooked.

True. Store Tom Turkey “as low as he can go” in the fridge; that is, on the lowest shelf possible. The goal is to prevent raw turkey juices from dripping down and contaminating foods stored on lower shelves. Keep Tom well-wrapped in plastic and on a READ MORE >>

READ MORE >>

Water Loss: Challenges, Costs and Opportunities
By Chris Wiant, M.P.H., Ph.D.

Leaking water main I wrote at the end of 2016 about the Future of America’s Drinking Water, and summarized some basic facts about US daily and annual water consumption. For example, Americans consume more than one billion glasses of tap water each day, while just 3% of our nation’s 50,000 community water systems provide safe drinking water for almost 80% of the US population.1 This remarkable public health and engineering achievement relies on a vast—and aging—infrastructure, including an estimated 1.2 million miles of distribution pipes that leak and sometimes break spectacularly.2 Considering all sources and types of losses, an estimated 6 billion gallons of treated drinking water are lost every day. In this article, I’d like to focus on the challenges and costs, as well as some opportunities and solutions, associated with water loss in the United States.

READ MORE >>

READ MORE >>

The Coming Flu Season
By Ralph Morris, M.D., M.P.H.

Is it the flu or a cold? This chart can help you decide.

Is it the flu or a cold? This chart can help you decide.

Are you ready for the coming flu season? “Down under” in Australia where it is springtime, the number of flu cases has doubled over last season’s total. Could that be an indication of what we might expect soon in the northern hemisphere? According to self-proclaimed flu-ologist Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, “…the only thing that you can predict about influenza is that it’s going to be unpredictable.”1 When it comes to flu, a reasonably precautionary approach might just be the best approach.

First: Get Vaccinated

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Getting an annual flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu.” Scientists have known for some time that getting the vaccine can … READ MORE >>

READ MORE >>

How to Keep Your Halloween Jack-o-Lantern Looking Fresh and Teach Your Kids a Little Science in the Process
By Linda F. Golodner

jackolanternCarving Jack-o-lanterns is a fun Halloween tradition. Whether you transform your pumpkin into an exquisite work of art or a sweet smiley face with triangle eyes, preserving your Jack-o-lantern from mold and mildew can be tricky. But here’s a Halloween treat of a hint: Jack-o-lanterns can be preserved for a short time with the help of a dilute solution of chlorine bleach.

Dunking Jack

The directions below are based on a recommended procedure found on the Clorox website for extending the “porch life” of your Jack-o-lantern.  

  • After cutting the top of your pumpkin off, use a spoon to remove seeds and stringy fibers from the inside of the pumpkin and the underside of its top. (If you have one, a grapefruit spoon – with a serrated edge – is a great tool to help dislodge fibers.) Consider collecting the pumpkin seeds for roasting and snacking.
  • Rinse the inside and
READ MORE >> READ MORE >>

After the Hurricane: How to Handle a Flooded Swimming Pool or Spa
By the Water Quality & Health Council

flooded-poolThe 2017 hurricane season is one for the record books. Among the issues residents in affected areas are contending with is flooded backyard swimming pools and spas. A new Fact Sheet from The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals provides expert and detailed guidance on safely returning your flooded pool or spa to working condition. This article lists key highlights from the Fact Sheet, but we advise you to consult the original document for the most detailed guidance.

Electrical Safety

Safety is the first and most important consideration in addressing your flooded pool or spa. Electrocution is “a real and present danger and frequently accounts for many deaths after a major storm,” according to the Fact Sheet. Before attempting any clean-up activities, turn off the power to all pool and spa equipment at the main circuit breaker or fuse box. Remember: Never touch a circuit breaker or fuse with wet … READ MORE >>

READ MORE >>

Subscribe to receive the weekly "Water Quality & Health Council Perspectives"