Food Safety Education Month

Food Safety Education Month

As it’s officially Food Safety Education Month we thought we’d do our bit to prevent foodborne illness with our Top 5 Tips for Safe Food Handling! For Food Safety Education Month we will look at the importance of accurate temperature measurement and why the control of temperature is critical to the quality and safety of your food products. Temperature Control Many foods that are handled in homes, food service and food processing businesses contain harmful bacteria.  The growth of such bacteria can easily be controlled by ensuring that food is stored at and cooked to the right temperature.  Harmful bacteria can be reduced or destroyed by cooking or reheating to the correct temperature. For Food Safety Education Month we recommend that you create a new or revisit your existing Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) or food safety plan. … Read more

Salmonella

Latest Salmonella Outbreaks

Latest Salmonella Outbreaks What is a Salmonella Outbreak? The latest Salmonella outbreaks are declared when two or more people get the same Salmonella based illness, from the same contaminated food or drink source. These events are also known as food-borne disease outbreaks. Salmonella itself is a type of rod-shaped bacteria (or bacillus) and is one of the most well known causes of food-borne illness, more often referred to as ‘food poisoning’. Usually, an infection will just result in illness, but the latest salmonella outbreaks have required hospitalization for a large number of people and have even lead to death. The latest Salmonella outbreaks have all involved live bacteria being found in the intestines of humans (Salmonellosis). The bacteria usually invades the gastrointestinal tract, where they attach themselves to the cells lining the intestines and start to produce toxins. The Centers … Read more

Health Risks From Eating Raw Cookie Dough

Health Risks From Eating Raw Cookie Dough

A tempting ‘cook’s perk’ for some, but raw cookie dough hasn’t had the kind of  treatment that’s designed to kill germs, so may cause illnesses in people who eat it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a warning about the dangers of eating raw cookie dough, urging us to “Say no to raw dough!“. “When you prepare homemade cookie dough, cake mixes, or even bread, you may be tempted to taste a bite before it is fully cooked,” the CDC said. “But steer clear of this temptation — eating or tasting unbaked products that are intended to be cooked, such as dough or batter, can make you sick.”   It would be easy to just associate the health risks with the inclusion of the raw egg that’s in the raw cookie dough, as this is a well … Read more

How to check commercial dishwasher temperatures

Commercial Dishwasher Temperatures

High temperature commercial dishwashers use hot water that has reached a high enough temperature to remove food remnants and bacteria.  The correct commercial dishwasher temperatures mean that table and cookware is by hot water. Kitchen staff spend much of their time documenting food storage and cooking temperatures as part of their HACCP plan.  Measuring water temperatures of your dishwasher cycles is just as important to prove to that the correct safe-guards are in place. In a 2011 germ study conducted by the US based National Sanitation Federation (NSF), it was found that the place in most homes with the highest number of germs wasn’t the bathroom, but the kitchen! Washing hands, proper cleaning, of kitchen work surfaces and following food handling guidelines, are important ways to protect against food-borne illness.  A vital measure is to ensure that dishes and cookware, … Read more

Thanksgiving Turkey

Cooking a Thanksgiving Turkey

The holidays are fast approaching.  It is a time when family and friends gather looking forward to sharing traditional holiday fare of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and pie. Family traditions often dictate how a turkey is cooked.  Roasting the turkey is a top favorite although the details may differ from family to family.  Maybe it is soaked in brine overnight, it might be a spice mix rubbed in the skin or the frequency of basting with butter during the roasting time.  However, it is prepared, there is no doubting that the Thanksgiving turkey is the star of the festive table. If you buy a frozen turkey, the USDA website has some easy to follow guidelines for the safe thawing of your Thanksgiving turkey.  It’s important to check that the turkey does not reach the food danger zone of … Read more

HACCP and Food Safety Training

Comark announces new accredited HACCP and food safety training

As suppliers of specialist temperature measuring equipment supplied into food manufacturing, food service, catering and retail businesses, Comark is well placed to understand the importance of HACCP and food safety training to these organizations. “Comark continues to innovate food safety solutions. We are proud to launch our HACCP food safety and food hygiene training programme. Our aim is to provide new and established businesses with the knowledge and equipment required to meet the stringent safety standards of the global food industry.” – Mike Slevin, Global Sales & Marketing Director, Comark Instruments

Campylobacter and Handling Raw Chicken

Safe handling of chicken to minimize campylobacter contamination

Handling raw chicken requires attention to some basic food hygiene principals to reduce the chances of eating food contaminated with campylobacter. The Food Standards Agency quote that about four in five cases of campylobacter food poisoning in the UK come from contaminated poultry, especially chicken and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are an estimated 1.3 million illnesses in the United States each year caused by campylobacter. Campylobacter has a low infective dose, meaning it takes very few germs (fewer than 500) to make someone ill (source). That means a single drop of juice from raw chicken can have enough Campylobacter in it to infect someone. How to reduce the risk from campylobacter when handling chicken Clean Make sure your hands are washed and that the kitchen worksurfaces, cutting boards and utensils are thoroughly clean.  Immediately after being … Read more