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NEWS
By LYNN LITTLE / Special to The Herald-Mail | September 22, 2010
Tailgating parties are synonymous with fall game-day fun. So don't let food safety mistakes spoil your tailgating party. Handling food properly in the parking lot is just as important as handling food safely at home. Washing your hands before and after handling food is critical. Water might not be readily available, but tailgaters can either bring a jug of water, soap and towels, or brush off surface dirt and use pre-packaged towelettes or a hand sanitizer. To avoid cross contamination, use separate coolers or ice chests for beverages, ready-to-eat foods and raw foods that will be cooked.
NEWS
By LYNN LITTLE | July 28, 2010
Hot summer days, a picnic, an outdoor gathering of family and friends, a ballgame all can be prime times for food safety mistakes that put families and friends at risk of food borne illness. Outdoor picnics and other activities where you serve food, especially in warm weather, can present opportunities for food borne bacteria to thrive. Follow these simple steps to avoid food safety mistakes and protect your family and friends: Prepare your meals at home, remembering to wash your hands with warm soapy water first.
NEWS
Lynn Little | September 20, 2011
Tailgating parties are synonymous with fall game-day fun. Handling food properly in the stadium parking lot is just as important as handling food safely at home. Don't let food safety mistakes spoil your tailgating party.   Plan your tailgate party menu with game time in mind and the number of people you expect. This can help minimize leftovers and food storage before, during and after the game.   To avoid cross contamination, use separate coolers or ice chests for beverages, ready-to-eat foods, and raw foods that will be cooked.
EDUCATION
April 19, 2013
 The Continuing Education and Business Services Division at Hagerstown Community College is offering two food safety courses in April for food service providers. The first course, “Food Safety Managers Certification,” will be offered on Tuesdays, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., beginning April 16 and ending April 23. Course topics will include proper methods of food handling and preparation, the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point concept of food safety, proper cleaning and sanitizing of equipment and facilities, guidelines for working with regulatory agencies, and personal hygiene.
NEWS
Lynn Little | March 5, 2013
The trend of swapping disposable grocery bags for reusable cloth and plastic-lined bags has become a popular choice. Reusable bags reduce waste but there are food safety concerns to consider.  Certain foods, such as raw produce, meat, poultry and fish might contain bacteria that cause foodborne illness. The fabric or materials in reusable grocery bags can become contaminated with germs like Salmonella or E. coli from foods or other items. These germs could then cross-contaminate other foods and nonfood items.
NEWS
BY LYNN F. LITTLE | May 15, 2002
Microwave ovens can play an important role at mealtime for individuals and families on the go. Special care is needed, however, to make sure foods prepared or reheated in the microwave oven are safe to eat. Here are some tips to help ensure the safety of microwaved foods. n Make sure containers and wraps are microwave-safe: - Only use cookware that has been specially manufactured for use in the microwave oven. Glass, glass ceramic containers and all plastics should be labeled for microwave use. - Storage containers such as margarine tubs, whipped topping bowls and cheese containers should not be used in microwave ovens.
NEWS
by LYNN F. LITTLE | October 6, 2004
How often do you think about the safety of the food you are preparing or eating? Do you just assume that if food is available to eat, it must be safe? Being aware starts with keeping the four steps of food safety in mind: Clean, separate, cook and chill. Clean Wash hands and surfaces often. Cleanliness is a major factor in preventing foodborne illness. Bacteria introduced by humans, pets or foods can easily spread throughout the kitchen and get onto cutting boards, utensils, sponges and countertops.
NEWS
by LYNN F. LITTLE | April 28, 2004
Food safety mistakes often run in families. Old habits can jeopardize food safety, health and life itself. Each year, millions of people are sickened by foodborne illness. Thousands die. Food safety errors that occur during processing and marketing make front page news, particularly when the errors prompt recalls. Food safety is, however, a responsibility that we all share - many food safety mistakes occur in our family kitchens. To learn more about frequent food safety mistakes, test your food safety IQ with these questions: Q: Is setting froszen meat on the counter the best method to thaw it?
NEWS
by MARLO BARNHART | September 20, 2003
With thousands of residents without power because of Tropical Storm Isabel, the Washington County Health Department has issued some guidelines on food safety when freezers and refrigerators are out of commission. "When in doubt, throw it out," is the best rule-of-thumb, said Rod MacRae, Health Department spokesman. Some tips for saving food would include dividing the items among friends whose freezers are working; using freezer space at a church, store, school or commercial freezer that is still in service; or carefully storing items in dry ice. Thawed food usually can be eaten or refrozen if it is still "refrigerator cold" or if it still contains ice crystals.
NEWS
By LYNN LITTLE | May 21, 2008
Memorial Day marks the beginning of the summer grilling season. Grilling, one of the easiest low-fat cooking methods, can be a centerpiece for summertime meals. It is important to follow food safety guidelines to prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying and causing foodborne illness. Grills need annual cleaning after winter storage by scouring the grate with a wire brush. Spray the grid with oven cleaner and rinse thoroughly. Before each use, remove charred food debris to reduce exposure to possible cancer-causing substances formed during high heat cooking.
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OPINION
August 24, 2013
New food law would hurt local farmers To the editor: Each week at our farm stands, we try to explain a peculiar situation to our customers. They come to buy our fresh fruit and vegetables, and I tell them that in a few years this produce will be illegal to sell. Why? Because it has some dirt and bacteria on it. The strawberries, for instance, have some trace amount of straw and soil on them. As do the tomatoes, beans and cucumbers. We do rinse them before leaving the farm, but we won't put them through a disinfectant bath or pack them in antiseptic plastic containers.
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NEWS
Lynn Little | August 20, 2013
Packing a lunch can save money, but that's not the only reason to do it. Involving your children in the process can help them learn about food, food safety, nutrition, health and basic kitchen skills.  Make packing lunch fun. Set aside “let's do lunch” family or one-on-one time. If time is typically tight in the morning, partially prepare lunch the night before. Plan a sandwich-making session on Sunday evening, wrap in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil, freezer paper or bag and freeze a sandwich for each day of the week.  Sandwiches made with peanut butter, cream cheese, processed cheese, luncheon meats or salad mixtures such as tuna, chicken or ham prepared with a small amount of mayonnaise freeze well and can be frozen for one to two weeks.  Freezing will help protect a sandwich, food safety-wise.
NEWS
Lynn Little | July 9, 2013
When eating outdoors while traveling or picnicking away from home, it's important to take follow some basic food safety rules to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. Cases of food poisoning peak in the summer months, so if you are on the move it is important to follow food safety rules. Soap and water are essential to cleanliness. Bring your own soap and water to your picnic or campsite. If water for hand washing is not available, disposable wipes or hand sanitizer will do. Wash your hands before and after handling food.
EDUCATION
April 19, 2013
 The Continuing Education and Business Services Division at Hagerstown Community College is offering two food safety courses in April for food service providers. The first course, “Food Safety Managers Certification,” will be offered on Tuesdays, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., beginning April 16 and ending April 23. Course topics will include proper methods of food handling and preparation, the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point concept of food safety, proper cleaning and sanitizing of equipment and facilities, guidelines for working with regulatory agencies, and personal hygiene.
NEWS
Lynn Little | March 5, 2013
The trend of swapping disposable grocery bags for reusable cloth and plastic-lined bags has become a popular choice. Reusable bags reduce waste but there are food safety concerns to consider.  Certain foods, such as raw produce, meat, poultry and fish might contain bacteria that cause foodborne illness. The fabric or materials in reusable grocery bags can become contaminated with germs like Salmonella or E. coli from foods or other items. These germs could then cross-contaminate other foods and nonfood items.
NEWS
Lynn Little | June 26, 2012
Violent storms can happen quickly and unexpectedly during the summer.  Oftentimes, homes can lose power during those storms leaving many people wondering about the safety of refrigerated and frozen foods. Monitoring food storage temperatures can be especially important during a power outage. At the same time, opening freezer and refrigerator doors should be kept to a minimum. Food safety experts recommend checking food storage temperatures every four hours. The key temperature is 40 degrees.
NEWS
May 8, 2012
Food for Profit, a one-day workshop, will be held Wednesday, June 6, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Washington County Agricultural Education Center (building door No. 4), at 7303 Sharpsburg Pike. The workshop is designed to help participants work through the maze of local and state regulations, food safety issues, and business management concepts that all must be considered in setting up a commercial food business.  The Penn State Extension's course is co-sponsored by Maryland Rural Enterprise Development Center, University of Maryland Extension and Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission.
NEWS
Lynn Little | March 20, 2012
"Eat this. Don't eat that. " If only it were so simple.  Eating a variety of foods is recommended for health but trying to overhaul your or your family's eating habits can be a challenge. It's never too late to start eating a greater variety of foods that contribute to good health.  Aim for gradual changes, rather than making an issue of food. Strive to plan and provide regular meals and snacks for your family. Some tips to help parents aim for healthful family meals and snacks follow:  Children have small stomachs, so they need regular meals, supplemented by snacks to help fill the gap between meals.
NEWS
January 30, 2012
Have you ever been told that your favorite homemade bread or salsa is “good enough to sell?” Do you have additional fruit or vegetables from your farm or home garden that you would like to make into a commercial product?  Food for Profit is a one-day workshop designed to help you work through the maze of local and state regulations, food safety issues and business management concepts that all must be considered in setting up a commercial food business.  The course will be held at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center, 7303 Sharpsburg Pike (building door No. 4)
NEWS
Lynn Little | September 20, 2011
Tailgating parties are synonymous with fall game-day fun. Handling food properly in the stadium parking lot is just as important as handling food safely at home. Don't let food safety mistakes spoil your tailgating party.   Plan your tailgate party menu with game time in mind and the number of people you expect. This can help minimize leftovers and food storage before, during and after the game.   To avoid cross contamination, use separate coolers or ice chests for beverages, ready-to-eat foods, and raw foods that will be cooked.
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