meatloaf recipe

food safety - ask karen

Meatloaf Recipes
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Turkey Meatloaf
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Don't Ask Me, Ask Karen

Food safety is a big deal for me—to the point where I’m probably pretty annoying to my family members, who don’t take kindly to my rushing the turkey down to the fridge as soon as Thanksgiving dinner is over. Who wonder why I come in and clean their kitchen counters before I cook. You see, I’ve had a food-borne illness—Salmonella—and it was a miserable experience. In fact, our whole high school was affected, that is, if you were unlucky enough to pick the chicken pilaf that day in the cafeteria food line.

I read recently in Costco Magazine that the USDA offers an online application for mobile users to “Ask Karen” about food safety.

 http://www.fsis.usda.gov/education/
Ask_Karen/index.asp

Wondering how safe that platter of hamburgers that’s been sitting on the picnic table outside? Are you curious to know how best to safely thaw meat? KAREN has the answers. You can ask it all sorts of questions regarding food safety. You can also jump to information regarding food recalls from the Food Safety and Inspection Service.

I recently went to a cheese making class. Cheese is susceptible to several dangerous bacteria during its manufacture. One of the things that this small cheese maker does as a practice is use a sanitizing solution on cutting boards, etc. Fill a dedicated plastic spray bottle with 28 ounces of water. To that, you add teaspoon of bleach (the ratio is roughly a capful of bleach to one gallon of water). You don’t want this solution to be stronger because it will corrode your surfaces over time. You spray your cutting boards with the solution. You may rinse. Another alternative is to use vinegar and then follow up with hydrogen peroxide (do not mix the two together). This isn’t instead of cleaning the cutting board. It is in addition to what you would normally do to clean your cutting board in the dishwasher.  

Another factor in food safety is your refrigeration. Is your refrigerator set properly? Is your ice cream hard, or is it mushy straight from the freezer? And I hate to ask, but when was the last time you cleaned out your fridge and gave the shelves and drawers a good, thorough scrub down? I have a tendency to jam the fridge drawers full. The problem is that air can’t circulate properly, so the stuff on the bottom’s probably getting a little warmer than it should be. My parents’ fridge has a cold spot in one place where everything freezes. Our refrigerators work by blowing cold air into the closed space. If the air can’t move around, the food inside isn’t getting the cooling it requires to stay fresh. Clean out your fridge on a regular basis and your appliance will be able to better help you.

A native of Atlanta, Tina Brickley Engberg, is an avid lover of all things related to food, cooking and nutrition. A former professional candy-maker, professed grocery store junkie, and organic gardener, she is willing to take almost any recipe out for a spin. She graduated from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine many moons ago.


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