The Jefferson County chapter of the Home and Community Education, Inc. is preparing for the State FAHCE (Florida Association for Home and Community Education) conference in Ocala. At the September meeting they planted seeds for the 4-H raised bed Herb Garden.
Wednesday September 23, 2015 — 3:09 PM
Permanent link to this article: http://jefferson.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2015/09/23/688/
Thursday February 26, 2015 — 11:10 AM
Friday, September 25, 2015, Fourth graders from around the county will be participating in our Annual Ag Adventures Day at the North Florida Research Center in Quincy, FL.
Permanent link to this article: http://jefferson.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2015/02/26/504/
Thursday February 26, 2015 — 11:00 AM
This is National Invasive Species Awareness Week . Years ago, we begin writing blog posts on invasives and working as a team of Ag, Hort and NR agents to send out the posts. Check out what we have written so far http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/nat/.
Permanent link to this article: http://jefferson.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2015/02/26/food-safety-manual-training-in-leon-april-4th/
UF/IFAS Extension Jefferson County faculty and staff 2015 photo.
The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is a federal, state, and county partnership dedicated to developing knowledge in agriculture, human and natural resources, and the life sciences and to making that knowledge accessible to sustain and enhance the quality of human life.
Permanent link to this article: http://jefferson.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2014/10/02/jefferson-county-extension/
Permanent link to this article: http://jefferson.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2014/10/01/upcoming-events/
Food Safety for the Holidays
Recipes for holiday cooking, ideas and advertisements can be found everywhere since the holidays are upon us. It is the time of year when the grocery stores are crowded, the costs of the turkeys are reduced, and all of your favorite foods are on sale. Before the aroma of the turkey, dressing and your favorite foods fill the house; we need to review food safety.
Holiday meals can take a turn for the worse if food safety is not properly practiced when preparing and cooking the food. The food you serve your family and friends can be very harmful if your turkey, ham, or home-prepared meat products are not appropriately handled. The good news is that by practicing four basic food safety measures you can help prevent food borne illness over the holiday season.
You need to wash your hands and clean food contact surfaces before, during, and after cooking, and wash produce appropriately before consumption/preparation. First, wash your hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling any food. Keep in mind that hand sanitize is not a replacement for washing hands with soap and water because it is not effective against certain pathogens, including most viruses. Second, sanitize food-contact surfaces, including cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and counter tops, with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item. Rinse fruits and vegetables thoroughly under cool running water and use a produce brush to remove surface dirt, especially from fruits and vegetables with rough surfaces such as cantaloupe.
When you prepare meals or store food in the refrigerator, be sure to keep foods that will not be cooked (ready-to-eat foods) separate from items that can contaminate other foods, such as raw eggs, meat, poultry, or seafood. Be sure to use separate kitchen utensils for ready-to-eat foods and for your raw products. Do not put cooked meat or other ready-to-eat food on an unwashed plate that has held any raw eggs, meat, poultry, seafood, or their juices.
Cook meat and poultry to a safe minimum internal temperature
• All poultry, stuffing, casseroles, leftovers 1650F,
• Ground meats, eggs, and egg dishes 1600F,
• Fully cooked ham (to reheat) 1400F,
• Beef, pork, lamb, and veal, fish and shellfish, and fresh or uncooked smoked ham 1450F.
Use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature. To ensure your turkey is cooked properly, insert a food thermometer into the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast.
Bring sauces, soups, and gravies to a rolling boil when reheating. A rolling boil is when a liquid is boiled rapidly with lots of bubbling..
Refrigerate leftovers and any food product that is stored cold within two hours, because harmful bacteria grow rapidly at room temperature. Set your refrigerator at or below 40°F and the freezer at 0°F. Check both periodically with an appliance thermometer.
Thaw frozen food safely in the refrigerator, under cold running water, or in the microwave—but never at room temperature. If you thaw food in cold water or in the microwave, this food needs to be cooked immediately. When you thaw food, allow enough time to properly handle the food. For example, a 20-pound turkey needs four to five days to thaw completely in the refrigerator. Leftovers should be promptly refrigerated (within 2 hours) and used within three to four days. Some leftovers can be frozen; always remember to label and date the item before storage. Do not taste food that looks or smells questionable. When in doubt, throw it out!
Turkey must be kept at a safe temperature during “the big thaw.” While frozen, a turkey is safe for a long time (it can be stored for up to a year without affecting quality or safety). However, as soon as it begins to thaw, any bacteria that may have been present before freezing can begin to grow again. A package of frozen meat or poultry left thawing on the counter more than 2 hours is not at a safe temperature. Even though the center of the package may still be frozen, the outer layer of the food is in the “Danger Zone” between 40 and 140°F, which is a temperature zone where food borne bacteria multiply rapidly. There are three safe ways to thaw food: in the refrigerator, or in cold water.
When thawing a turkey in the refrigerator, you need to plan ahead. Allow approximately 24 hours for each 4–5 pounds in a refrigerator set at 40°F or below. Place the turkey in a container to prevent the juices from dripping on other foods. A completely thawed turkey can remain in the refrigerator for 1–2 days before cooking.
When thawing a turkey in cold water, allow about 30 minutes per pound. First be sure the turkey is in a leak-proof plastic bag to prevent cross-contamination and to prevent the turkey from absorbing water, resulting in a watery product. Submerge the wrapped turkey in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. Cook the turkey immediately after it is thawed.
For optimal safety and uniform doneness, cook stuffing separately. However, if you are cooking a stuffed turkey it is essential to use a food thermometer to make sure the center of the stuffing reaches a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F. Cooking a home-stuffed turkey is riskier than cooking one not stuffed. Even if the turkey itself has reached the safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F, the stuffing may not have reached a temperature high enough to destroy bacteria that may be present. Bacteria can survive in stuffing that has not reached 165°F, possibly resulting in foodborne illness.
If you plan to prepare stuffing using raw meat, poultry, or shellfish, you should cook these ingredients before stuffing the turkey to reduce the risk of foodborne illness from bacteria that may be found in raw ingredients. The wet ingredients for stuffing can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated. However, do not mix wet and dry ingredients until just before spooning the stuffing mixture into the turkey cavity. Stuff the turkey loosely (about 3/4 cup of stuffing per pound). The stuffing should be moist, not dry, because moist heat destroys bacteria more rapidly. Immediately place the stuffed, raw turkey in an oven set no lower than 325°F.
Set the oven temperature no lower than 325°F. Before roasting, make sure the turkey is completely thawed. Times are based on fresh or thawed birds at a refrigerator temperature of 40°F or below. Place turkey breast-side up on a flat wire rack in a shallow roasting pan 2 to 2 1/2 inches deep. You can optionally add one-half cup water to the bottom of the pan.
A tent of aluminum foil may be placed loosely over the breast of the turkey for the first 1 to 1 1/2 hours and then removed for browning. A tent of foil may be placed over the turkey after the turkey has reached the desired golden brown color. The temperature of the turkey and the center of the stuffing must reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F as measured with a food thermometer. Do not remove the stuffing from the turkey before it reaches 165°F because the under-cooked stuffing could contaminate the cooked meat. Refrigerate cooked poultry and stuffing within 2 hours. Leftovers should be reheated to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F and used within 3 to 4 days.
Source: Food Safety for the Holiday Season, Soohyoun Ahn and Keith R. Schneider, University of Florida EDIS Publication #FSHN14-1, 2015.
UF/IFAS FCS Extension Agent
2729 W. Washington Hwy.
Monticello, FL 3234
Permanent link to this article: http://jefferson.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2015/11/20/food-safety-for-the-holidays/