What Cooking Shows Don’t Teach
Barbara M. Soule, RN, MPA, CIC, FSHEA, FAPIC

Want to know how to prepare a delicious recipe? Tune in to a TV cooking show. Just don’t expect to view some of the most important cooking steps! According to a new study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior (abstract), today’s cooking shows are missing “an opportunity to model and teach good food safety practices for millions of viewers.” In fact, the researchers found in 39 episodes from 10 television cooking shows, the majority of episodes failed to demonstrate:

  • Proper use of utensils and gloves
  • Protection from contamination
  • Maintaining time and temperature rules

Foodborne Illness: Learn from “Maria”

Each year there are 48 million cases of foodborne illness in the US, including 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. Foodborne illnesses, most of which are infections caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites, can even have long-term health consequences, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). ... READ MORE >>

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The Black Friday Shoppers’ Health and Safety Survival Guide
Water Quality & Health Council

Determined to brave the traffic, crowds and general madness of Black Friday, many shoppers strike out to take advantage of deep discounts on holiday goods. We offer tips to help ensure shoppers return home from these shopping adventures safely and in good health.

Safety First

  • As exciting as it is to get to the sales early, don’t compromise safety when driving or walking to the shops. Obey traffic and pedestrian rules—arrive alive and unharmed. Exercise extra caution driving and walking in packed parking lots.
  • Reduce your chances of being caught and injured in a stampede at “door buster” sales. It’s better to hang back or off to the side than to risk injury in a rushing crowd.

Be a Healthy Shopper

  • Be mindful that frequently touched surfaces such as door handles and electronic key pads are drop off and pick-up points for germs. Keep your hands away from your face
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Holiday Food Safety and the Foodkeeper App
Linda F. Golodner

A beautifully arranged holiday dinner table is a feast for the senses. Occasionally, however, festive fare that looks perfectly delectable can sicken unsuspecting diners. There are many ways in which the “perfect” holiday dinner can go horribly wrong. Fortunately, most foodborne illness can be avoided when cooks maintain and apply a keen awareness of the basics of food safety.  Add to that a new “app” issued by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and safe food storage and preparation can be a snap this holiday season.

Food Safety Basics

 “Clean” starts with the cooks washing their hands with soap and warm water before and after handling any food item (not just raw animal or vegetable products).  Food preparation surfaces, such as cutting boards and countertops, should be thoroughly washed with soap and hot water, followed by sanitizing with a solution of one tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon … READ MORE >>

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Biofilms and Drinking Water Quality
Joan B. Rose, PhD

Biofilm and corrosion in a water pipe

Biofilm and corrosion in a water pipe

Photo credit: Institute of Northern Engineering – University of Alaska Fairbanks

 

The ability of microorganisms to attach to diverse surfaces and form complex colonies known as biofilms vastly improves their survival and growth in environmental niches.  Biofilms form when bacteria adhere to surfaces by excreting a slimy, glue-like substance, and can include algae, protozoa, and other microorganisms.  Nationally, biofilms cost the US billions of dollars every year in energy losses, equipment damage, product contamination, and medical infections.1  Although we have written in the past about biofilms, the good and bad, this article focuses on their role in microbiological drinking water quality—specifically biofilms in distribution systems.

A Widespread Problem

All water distribution systems eventually develop some type of biofilm.  Because biofilms can protect pathogenic (disease-causing) microbes from disinfection, they can present a threat to public health.  Biofilms can also discolor water … READ MORE >>

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Why Cryptosporidium is Responsible for over 80% of Swimming Pool Illness Outbreaks, and What Can be Done about It
Water Quality & Health Council

Causes of recreational water illness outbreaks

Causes of recreational water illness outbreaks, 2005-2006 (CDC MMWR Report, Sept. 12 2008)

Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite that is responsible for the majority of swimming pool illness outbreaks in the US with symptoms ranging from diarrhea to death.  An outbreak this summer in Ohio sickened hundreds of swimmers. With that level of notoriety, it should come as no surprise that “Crypto” was the subject of much discussion at the recent National Swimming Pool Foundation’s annual World Aquatic Health Conference in Nashville (October 19-21).  The figure at right illustrates the dominant role of “Crypto” in 35 reported recreational water illness outbreaks between 2005 and 2006.

Crypto lives in the intestines of mammals and is what is known as an enteric pathogen, spread through the feces of infected people and animals. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Crypto can cause … READ MORE >>

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