Food Safety Tips You Can Do at Home to Minimize the Risk of Food Poisoning

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Food Preparation Safety

Refrigerate

Always refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours.

Refrigerate within 1 hour when the temperature is above 90F.

At home, place meat, poultry, and seafood in the refrigerator immediately.

Freeze poultry and ground meat that won’t be used in 1 or 2 days; freeze other meat within 4 to 5 days.

Defrost Safely

Completely defrost meat and poultry before grilling so it cooks more evenly.

Use the refrigerator for slow, safe thawing or thaw sealed packages in cold water.

You can microwave to defrost if the food will be placed immediately on the grill.

Safe Food Preparation

To prevent food borne illness, don’t use the same platter and utensils for raw and cooked meat and poultry. Harmful bacteria present in raw meat and poultry and their juices can contaminate safely cooked food.

Only use knives and cutting utensils for one thing, either for meat or for vegetables. Thereafter, the utensils should be thoroughly washed.

NEVER place the grilled meat back on the dish or board on which the raw meat was placed, as this has blood and juices from the raw meat.

NEVER use knives or dishes that have been used for the raw meat for the grilled meat, too.

Clean all counters and cooking surfaces, with hot soapy water before use.

Clean all cutting boards with hot soapy water before use.

Avoid using the same plate for raw and cooked food.

Marinade in the refrigerator and discard the marinade immediately after use.

Use a separate brush one for marinating and another for basting cooked meat.

Marinading

Marinate food in the refrigerator, not on the counter.

Discard the marinade immediately after use.

If some of the marinade is to be used as a sauce on the cooked food, reserve a portion of the marinade before putting raw meat and poultry in it. However, if the marinade used on raw meat or poultry is to be reused, make sure to let it come to a boil first to destroy any harmful bacteria.

Safe Food Handling

Keep all raw and cooked food separate and keep it “wrapped and refrigerated”.

Use separate BBQ utensils when handling raw and cooked food.

Make sure frozen meat is thoroughly thawed (unless otherwise stated) before cooking and do not refreeze once thawed.

Safe Cooking

Cook thoroughly. Cook food to a safe minimum internal temperature to destroy harmful bacteria. The only way to be sure foods are cooked to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria is to use an accurate digital instant-read thermometer. Thermometer use to ensure proper cooking temperature is especially important for those who cook or serve ground beef patties to people most at risk for food borne. Those most at risk include young children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.

Unless you are in a big hurry or you like for your meat to be dry, do not press on it. You will just be squeezing out all those wonderful juices. Additionally, squeezing the juices on the coals …

Food Processor Safety Tips

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A food processor is an electrical appliance that operates with fast moving and sharp blades and discs. Like other electrical equipment, a food processor should always be handled with care. Follow these safety tips to protect you and your family from misuse and harm.

  • The appliance’s blades and discs operate and move at high speeds. Make sure your hands and kitchen utensils, like spatulas or wooden spoons, are kept away from the moving blades and discs when processing food. Only insert your hands or kitchen utensils into the food processor after the machine is off and unplugged.
  • As stated, the blades and discs are very sharp and should be handled and stored carefully. When connecting the motor shaft or stem to the processing unit, always place the blades and discs on flat, stable surfaces to minimize potential contact with them.
  • Make sure the work bowl is securely locked before placing blades or discs on the motor shaft.
  • Never put food or other ingredients into the work bowl until the blades and discs are securely in place.
  • Always use the pusher or food plunger to move food into the bowl and into the spinning blades or discs. Never put your fingers into the feed tube or work bowl while it is in operation.
  • Make sure the blade or disc has stopped spinning before you remove the cover from the work bowl.
  • Make sure the processor is turned off and unplugged from the electrical outlet before removing food, changing parts or cleaning it.
  • After your food processing is done, first remove the work bowl from the processor’s base before removing any blades or discs.

What Do You Need to Cook Chinese Food?

Are you, like many people, attracted by the possibility of cooking scrumptious and healthy Chinese meals at home? What do you need, in addition to the recipe, the ingredients, and your kitchen?

Well woks have been the mainstay of Chinese cooking for centuries – over 3000 years use in China, indeed. If you have not got one, is a wok necessary? Highly desirable, but not really essential, would be my view.You can use a frying pan to cook stir frys. A wok, does, however, have numerous advantages. It needs much less oil, and distributes heat much more even more than a frying pan does. And the unique concave shape of a wok makes tossing the food around during stir frying more straightforward. Coupled with the fact that you can also use the wok as an simple every day frying pan, and a deep fryer if wanted.

Other equipment that is also not essential, but desirable includes:

A wok lid . Which can either be domed shaped or flat topped. It should be able to fit the lid of the wok. And the lid needs to be high enough to ensure that it will allow the wok to be used with the desired quantities in it.

A spatula . Which is used for stirring and tossing the food It needs to have a long handle – for obvious reasons! And it can be made of metal or wood – the latter is especially desirable for non stick woks and frying pans.

A ladle . Used for adding stock, in addition to other seasoning. A ladle can also be used to measure out other ingredients to add.

A cleaver . Cutting and slicing before food preparation is especially important. Having bite size pieces enables the food to be eaten with chopsticks. It also reduces cooking time by increasing the amount of surface area exposed to heat. And permits greater absorption of sauces and flavorings. Although Chinese cleavers often look as though they could cut through bones, do not use cleavers for this – it may damage them. Although traditionally made of carbon steel, this can rust and add a taste of metal. Best to get a knife made from stainless steel. The flat end can also be used as a pestle.

A steaming basket . This is a round basket that can hold food hovering over boiling water. Bamboo baskets are generally better than metal ones as the bamboo absorbs the moisture and allows the steam to circulate. Dripping water from metal ones can reduce the flavor of the food.

Ring stand . A ring stand can stabilize the wok. Generally these have open sides for gas stoves, and closed sides for electric ones. If your wok has a tapered stand then use it so that the helmet side is up for electric stoves, and other side up for gas ones.

Rack . Usually a semi circle and can be used to keep food warm.

Skimmer . A skimmer is a implementation …

Tips For Cooking With Asparagus

Most people regard asparagus as an ingredient that needs to be cooked with caution. Here are a few helpful tips on how to cook with this vegetable.

Begin by buying asparagus right. Select asparagus spears that look a fresh and bright green and that have compact but firm tips. If you need to cook with asparagus that has slightly wilted tips, firm them up by soaking them in cold water for a few minutes.

After buying fresh asparagus, you need to keep it in a moist place till you are ready to use it. Frozen asparagus can be kept in the freezer. Remember not to defrost frozen asparagus before cooking. Once you’ve taken the frozen asparagus out of the freezer, do not refreeze it. You can store asparagus in the freezer for a maximum of eight months. If you are using the canned variety, it should be stored in a cool and dry place.

Asparagus is a versatile vegetable and lends itself to various food combinations. You can top steamed asparagus with sour cream, mayonnaise or yogurt. You can also infuse herbs like parsley and tarragon into melted butter and pour the mix over asparagus. Fresh asparagus works well with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Asparagus goes best with dry white wines such as Chenin Blanc, French Colombard or Fume Blanc. After trimming asparagus, do not discard the trimmed ends. These can be pureed and used in soups, stews or sauces.

Asparagus can be cooked in several ways. If you are cooking on the stovetop, you can steam fresh asparagus by boiling it in a small quantity of water until tender. This should take about five to eight minutes.

If you want to steam asparagus while in an upright position, tie the stalks together with a string. Make the stalks stand straight in a double boiler so that the tips stay an inch or so above the salted, boiling water. Cover the double boiler and cook for about five minutes or until tender.

For stir-frying asparagus, start by chopping the spears diagonally into half inch pieces. Keep the tips whole. Next stir-fry the cut pieces in a skillet containing hot butter or olive oil over a medium heat. It should take about three minutes for the asparagus to tenderize. Stir-fried asparagus should be soft yet crisp.

Fresh asparagus can be cooked in a microwave in a baking dish or even in a serving bowl. Place about a pound of asparagus in the cooking dish. If you are using whole asparagus spears, keep the tips in the center. Pour in about a quarter cup of water and cover the dish. Cook at 100% power for 5 minutes. Turn over the spears half way through cooking. Reduce the cooking time by about a minute if you are microwaving cut pieces or tips.

Frozen asparagus can be cooked in the microwave by placing it in a covered microwaveable dish containing about two tablespoons of water. The cooking time is about five minutes at …

Four Fantastic Tips to Prevent Urinary Blockage in Cats

Cat urinary infections, as any cat owner will tell you, is something to be taken seriously. It is surprising to see the number of cat owners who have no idea about cats urinary infections. They all seem to think that urinary infections in animals are not as serious as they are in humans and can be easily easily with antibiotics. If you think so too, you need to read this article fully.

First of all, let me make something very clear. Urinary blockage in cats is as common and as dangerous as it is in humans. So, you should observe your pet closely and look for symptoms of this problem. If you do, you should immediately take it to a vet and get it treated properly. If not, this problem could be fatal.

When you suspect that there is something wrong with your cat, you can take it to a vet and treat the problem accordingly. Still, it involves a lot of pain and suffering for your cat and a lot of mental agony for you – the cat owner. So, what I am saying is very simple. Why wait for a problem to occur and then treat it? Why not prevent it completely? That's right; you can take steps to prevent cats urinary infections. While not certain, it will help. Let me explain how you can do that.

1. Your cat's diet is the most important factor that decides its health. The food that your cat eats should have high water content to keep it hydrated. The food you feed your cat should be high quality and contain organic or at minimum ingredients that you recognize.

2. Make sure your cat drinks plenty of clean water. Dehydration is the cause of a lot of health problems in animals. So, you should always make sure it stays hydrated.

3. Clean your cat regularly. There are special shampoos and soaps available exclusively for gentle animals like cats. You should use them and keep your cat clean. This will reduce the chances of infections considerably.

4. A popular way to prevent urinary blockage in cats is by giving a small dose of homeopathic supplements regularly. These supplements are extremely powerful and can prevent urinary tract problems in cats. They can also boost your cat's immune system amazingly well. By making these supplements a part of your cat's regular diet, you can make sure your cat stays healthy and active for a long time.

Just try to follow the tips I have mentioned above and you will be surprised to see the results. Like I already said, preventing cats urinary infections is very easy – you just need to give your cat the right kind of food and the right supplements. So, take action today and take good care of your cat. …

Traditional Hardwood Restaurant Chairs

If you're opening a restaurant or plan to redecorate an existing eatery consider traditional hardwood chairs to outfit your dining areas. Finely finished and stained hardwood has a rustic and classic charm that you can not achieve with chrome or aluminum and with the right upholstered seat and chair backs you will have a comfortable and durable restaurant chair that will stand the test of time and provide high quality seating for all your guests.

Steak houses, seafood restaurants and upscale eateries are all appropriate settings for traditional hardwood restaurant chairs. Beech wood is an abundant material for commercial restaurant furniture and has proven to be extremely durable when used for chairs. Whether an end chair, side chair or arm chair solid beech wood can be found in many different shapes and styles with custom options for upholstering to match your restaurants overall theme and décor.

Simple yet classic ladder back style side chairs are perfect for traditional restaurant décor. Beech wood ladder back side chairs feature mortise and tenon joint construction along with metal reinforcements to provide a sturdy seat made for heavy commercial use. The seat of a ladder back chair can be left as smooth hardwood or accented with a variety of fabric upholstery for added comfort.

The head of the table in a traditional style restaurant should be outfitted with high quality hardwood arm chairs. Classic and elegant arm chairs are very comfortable seating options and have the option of seat back and seat upholstering. The Beidermeier arm chair is a great choice for traditional steak houses and old world cuisine eateries with its sturdy appearance and durable frame. With a seat height of 18 "the Beidermeier arm chair is a perfect fit fort most standard restaurant tables and many models feature staining options that include traditional wood colors including mahogany, cherry and walnut. …

Restaurant Training Manual – Presenting the Menu & Taking Food Order

Headwaiter/waiter should approach the table with a smile and pleasant eye contact, and must greet guests by saying: “Good (time of the day), Mr./s (name of guest), I am (name of staff), your (headwaiter or waiter)”. The Headwaiter/waiter must introduce the theme of the evening/day by saying: “Welcome to our… (name of theme) evening, / day Mr./s… (Name of the guest)”.

In case guest does not go to the bar for an aperitif, the headwaiter should propose aperitif to guests by saying: “Would you care for an aperitif, Mr./s (name of guest)?” Headwaiter/waiter must ensure that menus are in excellent condition (depending on location), stands on the right hand side of the guest, with the menu opened on the first page and holding it by the top, should present to the ladies first while maintaining eye contact by saying: “Please allow me to present you our (name of theme menu/menu of the day) Mr./s (name of guest)”.

Headwaiter/waiter should introduce any one of the specialties of the day (as applicable). Headwaiter/waiter must retire from guests table for a few moments (3-5) minutes, allowing guests to study the menu, by saying: “May I leave you to look at the menu, Mr./s (name of guest)? I will be back for your order in a short while.” In case of unavailability of specific items, guests are advised accordingly, by saying: “Mr/s (name of guest), I do apologize, unfortunately we do no have (name of item) today”. Headwaiter/waiter should return to the guests table with a smile and pleasant eye contact and ask if they are ready to place their order, by saying: “Mr/s (name of guest), are you ready to place your order?”

Headwaiter/waiter has to stand on the right hand side of the guest, women first, while smiling and maintaining eye contact and should take the order. Headwaiter/waiter has to highlight verbally at least one menu item as a house special or seasonal specialty, by saying: “May I recommend the specialty of the day (name of dish)?” Headwaiter/waiter takes children’s order first (if any), followed by women’s and finally the host’s.

Headwaiter/waiter writes down guest’s orders on docket, numbering each person’s order, and highlighting any special requests.

Headwaiter/waiter clearly labels all children’s menu portions on the food order docket.

Headwaiter/waiter repeats orders and collects menus from the right hand side, women first by saying: “May I repeat your order, please Mr/s… (name of guest)? Mrs (name of guest), you have ordered (chosen menu), and Mr… (name of guest) you have ordered (chosen menu)”.

Headwaiter/ waiter ensures that guests names, numbered orders, table number, number of persons, waiter’s name, date and time of order appear clearly on the order sheet.

Headwaiter/waiter retires from guests with a courtesy bow and a smile, thanking guests for their choice and wishes them a pleasant day/evening by saying: “Thank you Mr/s (name of guest), have a pleasant (time of the day).”…

How to Make Healthy & Delicious Baby Food

Making homemade baby food puree is simple, easy, and is very healthy and nutritious for your baby! You can save a lot of money by making your own food and your baby will love it! All you need, at a minimum, is a blender or food processor for pureeing, ice cube trays for freezing, and freezer bags and / or storage containers. There are other products available for making baby food at home such as tiered steamers, food mills, ice cube trays with lids, and other gadgets that can make preparing baby food easy (or more difficult depending on your cooking skills!). The Kidco Electric Food Mill has been my best friend in whipping up fresh batches of baby food. However, I've used standard blenders for pureing as well.

Here is how to make puree out of most fruits, vegetables, and meats:

1. Cook the desired food by baking, steaming, boiling, or microwaving.

2. Remove the food and allow to cool down a bit, reserve a little of the cooking liquid.

3. Transfer the food and cooking liquid (or you can use plain water or breast milk if you wish) into a blender or food processor and puree the food.

Note: You can use plain water or breast milk instead of the cooking liquid. However, vitamins see out into the water while cooking, so adding the liquid is a bonus.

4. Remove the food and serve immediately to your baby or freeze in ice cube trays for up to 2 months.

That's all there is to it! …

The Psychological Benefits Of Adopting A Stray Dog Or Cat

We are experiencing a plague in the United States. Unwanted and stray cats and dogs. I believe a great deal of this is due to lack of education.

Some cities and municipalities put a lot of funding behind spaying and neutering education. Many communities have no-kill shelters, and a lot of other good is being done. But more can be done. The amount of strays is epidemic in the U.S and does not seem to be getting better. We know better, most of us.

For every baby born in the U.S there are seven cats and dogs born.

A female cat and her offspring can (and usually does) produce 420,000 kittens within seven years.

One female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in six years (and usually does).

As many as 25% of dogs entering shelters each year are purebreds.

Approximately 61% of all dogs are killed in animal shelters.

Approximately 75% of all cats entering shelters are killed.

It costs approximately $100 to capture, house, feed, and eventually kill each stray animal — a cost which you, the taxpayer, eventually pay.

Can you see the importance of becoming educated regarding spaying and neutering pets? The Doris Day Animal League has a wonderful program http://www.ddal.org which can give you a great bit of important information.

I do not sit in judgment Though I owned pets all my life, I truly did not understand true pet care until I reached my adulthood. I only knew what my parents taught me which was very limited.

As a upper-middle class child, like other upper-middle class kids, my parents bought me “the dog du jour” or what was trendy from a recent movie. From Irish Setters to Golden Retrievers to Great Danes to Sheepdogs.

And only from the finest breeders.

There is nothing wrong with that. Those animals need homes as well, and I feel good about every animal I learned to take care of as a child (from wherever they derived).

As I matured, I understood owning and caring for an animal is more than “just looking good next to an exotic or popular breed”. It is about bonding, caring, and loving that animal and learning unconditional love from it.

I will give you an example. The Northridge earthquake in 1994 destroyed my home. I was forced to move into an apartment that didn’t allow dogs. I had a beautiful blonde golden retriever I was forced to give away.

I cried on and off for a month (even though Otis got a home in Malibu and was living better than me).

I moved back to my home state of Mississippi to take care of an ailing mom. As a writer, I knew this could put me in a vulnerable situation, but I also knew that my mom took care of me whenever I was ill and that was the right thing to do. And as I expected, writer’s block set in and I did not write for four years. That was …

Review of the Excalibur Food Dehydrator

TenDecades.com is a site dedicated to helping people create a healthy lifestyle primarily through a raw or living foods vegetarian diet. As such, we offer several kitchen appliances that greatly aid those who seek to prepare raw living foods.

Once such appliance is a food dehydrator. With a food dehydrator, you can create a myriad of healthy snacks and recipes that still retain most of the live enzymes found in fresh food. For example, you can crate dried fruit snacks with practice any kind of fresh fruit or vegetable. You can create vegetable chips, crackers and fruit rolls. You can also dry nuts, legumes and herbs & spices. Many people also make all kinds of meat jerky with various spices and meat types such as beef, venison, chicken, ostrich and fish.

Food dehydrators are also great for people who like to hike or camp and want to make their own dehydrated food to carry with them.

In this article, we will review the Excalibur Food Dehydrator.

The Excalibur dehydrator has three primary models: The Excalibur Model 2400, the Model 2500 and the Model 2900. The main difference between the three models is their size and tray capacity.

The Excalibur Model 2400 has four drying trays and has 4 square feet of drying area. The outside dimensions are 13 inches wide x 17 inches deep x 7 inches high and weighas about 16 lbs. The unit has a 4 inch fan and 220 watts of drying power. At the time if this writing, prices range from about $ 115- $ 125 for the Model 2400.

The Excalibur Model 2500 has five drying trays and has 8 square feet of drying area. The outside dimensions are 17 inches wide x 19 inches deep x 9 inches high and weighs about 18 lbs. The unit has a 5 inch fan and 400 watts of drying power. At the time of this writing, prices range from about $ 180- $ 200 for the Model 2500.

The Excalibur Model 2900 has nine drying trays and has 15 square feet of drying area. The outside dimensions are 17 inches wide x 19 inches deep x 13 inches high and weighs about 20 lbs. The unit has a 7 inch fan and 600 watts of drying power. At the time of this writing, prices range from about $ 210- $ 225 for the Model 2900.

All three units are equipped with an adjustable thermostat and they include drying trays with screens. It is important for your food dehydrator to have an adjustable thermostat so that you can regulate the temperature inside the unit. If the temperature exceeds about 105-107 degrees Fahrenheit, the live enzymes in the food will perish and the nutritional content of the food will be depleted dramatically.

When drying liquids such as yogurt or fruit purees, optional flexible Excalibur ParaFlexx® 14×14 Teflex (TM) Sheets can be purchased to line the trays to prevent spills and allow for the dried product to easily peel from …

How to Lose Weight Fast

Have You Ever Wondered How To Lose Weight Fast?

Do you want to lose weight fast, most people do?  We live in an era of speed an age when everyone wants quick results.  Regardless of the fact that the excess weight a person carries took time to accumulate they often want to be rid of it in a short space of time.  That’s why everyone is looking for the quick fix and explains the lure of the latest pill, potion or exotic tea.

Everyone want to know how to lose weight fast and it’s possible to lose it quickly using pills but these have bad side effects.  It’s also possible to starve oneself by going on one of the diets that cuts out food all together and to lose weight quickly.  You may have noticed that the majority of those who do lose weight this way put it all back on again.

The best way to lose weight is to lose it steadily in the same way it was gained which gives the body a chance to adjust and the skin to return to it’s original size and shape.  However there are ways of addressing weight problems that can help to lose weight faster than others and there are some things to avoid too.

How to Lose Weight Fast

The things to avoid if you want to lose weight and to lose it fast are diets.  Diets focus on food and the focus while on a diet is generally on what you can’t have.  Cutting out foods, calorie counting, fat reduction, points and the like mean that all the focus is on food, food, food.

People on diets learn which foods are ‘bad’ and which foods are ‘good.’  They learn what to avoid and what they can have and again it’s all food, food, food.  Because of the way the mind works this focus on food will make you crave food and especially the foods you have been told not to have.

To lose weight fast is easier than you ever imagined.  First of all decide what you want, not what you don’t want but what you want.  Keep the focus off food for now and focus on size and shape and level of fitness then write it down.

Now ask yourself the following questions:

  • “What do I have to do to achieve that?”
  • “What sorts of food could I eat to help me to achieve it?”
  • “What portion sizes will be needed to achieve my goal?
  • “How can I enjoy foods and still reach my goal?” 

You do know the answers to those questions and if you ask them repeatedly by beginning each day asking, “What could I eat today that will help me to be slim by… “ or “What size portion shall I eat this evening so I can reach my goal by… “ or “How can I stay on track today so I can achieve my goal of being… on… “

The way the human …

White Peppercorns – Hot, Hotter, and Hottest

Fans of peppercorns and spices may have a taste for hot dishes. Then, there are those that truly love the hottest peppercorns that they can find. Yes, while some may be a little nervous when it comes to trying out a supremely hot peppercorn, others will look for the hottest peppercorns that they can purchase. For those that want to buy the hottest of the hot, white peppercorns may be the right purchase.

Now, that does not mean that the enjoyment value of eating dishes with white peppercorns is removed due to the ‘hotness’ levels. On the contrary, the value of the dishes is greatly increased. Hot dishes can have tremendous value to those that want something special out of their meals. They have a love for those dishes known for being hot and spicy. It is not always easy to find a dish that can meet the high expectations of those that love spicy foods. Thanks to the inclusion of white peppercorns into the preparation of the food, the ability to get the ‘hottest of the hot’ is possible.

And, by the way, it is also possible to make a dish only mildly hot by adding white peppercorns. There are those that may be wondering how the inclusion of ‘super hot’ white peppercorns can lead to only a mild or medium heat levels. The answer to this is rather obvious: just add small amounts of white peppercorns to the mix. A small dash can have a minor effect and a large amount can deliver a major impact. Just add the amount you would feel comfortable with. It is as simple as that.

White peppercorns are common ground into a fine powder. This makes the spice very easy to add to any food item you are preparing. More importantly, you will be able to effectively measure the amount of spice you add to the meal. This way, you can feel confident that you are adding the appropriate levels. It is also advised that even if you like your meals to be especially hot, you should add small amounts at first and slowly increase the levels with future meals. Why is this? If the result ends up being too hot for your liking, you probably will not want to eat the meal.

If it is a little less then you should slowly increase the amounts with future meals until you reach the level you are happy with. If it turns out you go over your comfort levels, just reverse back towards the amount you are comfortable with. Sure, this can be a little bit of trial and error but that is sometimes the fun of preparing meals with white peppercorns. As the saying goes, some like it hot. Then there are those that like it really hot. (And some not so much) No matter where you stand on the ‘heat scale,’ liberal doses of white peppercorns can help you get there.…