Summer in Idaho means sunshine, warm weather and long days, with lots of opportunities to cook and eat outdoors, whether you are backcountry camping, whitewater rafting or enjoying a family picnic in the local park. But as food heats up in the warm weather months, bacteria multiply faster, creating a risk of foodborne illness. So, we thought it was a good time to talk about safe food handling when cooking or eating outdoors. Continue reading
You may have seen in the news last month that more than 500 people fell ill to norovirus on two separate cruise ships, bringing to 12 the number of major outbreaks of this nasty virus aboard ocean-liners in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control. That may lead you to think that norovirus is something you only risk on a cruise ship. But there’s actually a better chance you’ll be infected in restaurants, long-term care facilities like nursing homes and in other places where people gather and share bathrooms – day cares, schools, camps, and big events. Norovirus is also known as the “winter vomiting bug,” so it’s a good time to talk about reducing your risk. Continue reading
Holiday parties will offer a tempting array of goodies this winter, but it’s important to remember the basic food safety rules, both as a guest and as a host. Nearly 1 in 6 Americans (or about 48 million) get sick each year from contaminated food, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Reducing that number by just 10 percent would keep nearly 5 million people from getting sick each year. Continue reading
Unless you’ve been living on the dark side of the moon, you’ve probably heard about the total solar eclipse occurring the morning of Aug. 21 in Idaho. So, it’s a good time to talk about preparation and safety before, during, and after this historic event that’s expected to draw up to hundreds of thousands of viewers to the state. Continue reading
Sixteen people in nine states, including Washington and Oregon, have become seriously ill after eating a soy nut butter product linked to a nationwide illness outbreak and food recall. To date, no illnesses linked to the outbreak have been reported in Idaho, but Idaho health officials are urging Idahoans to double-check their cupboards for I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter and other related products recalled after people who ate them became ill. These products may have been purchased in grocery stores in Idaho or on the Internet and distributed to schools, childcare centers, and other institutions.
State health departments, working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are investigating an ongoing outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) O157:H7 illnesses reported from several states.
Any variety or size of I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter, I.M. Healthy Granola, or Dixie Diner’s Club Carb Not Beanit Butter should not be served or eaten, regardless of the date of purchase or the date listed on the container. Continue reading
Holiday parties will offer a tempting array of goodies this winter, but it’s important to remember the basic food safety rules, both as a guest and as a host. Nearly 1 in 6 Americans (or about 48 million) get sick each year from contaminated food, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Reducing that number by just 10 percent would keep nearly 5 million people from getting sick each year.
What is the most common cause of food poisoning?
There are more than 250 agents that can cause foodborne disease including viruses, bacteria, parasites, toxins, and foreign objects. Norovirus is the most common virus to cause food poisoning, while Salmonella is the most common and deadliest bacterial cause. E. coli, campylobacter, shigella, and listeria are also fairly common causes.
Canning your garden harvest is a great way to preserve it and share it with family and friends, but it can be risky if it’s not done correctly. I know it’s early yet, but harvest time will be here before we know it, and it’s important to be knowledgeable about proper canning techniques so you can make sure your home-canned vegetables aren’t contaminated by the germ that causes botulism.
What is botulism?
Botulism is a rare but serious illness caused by a bacteria that produces powerful toxins that can lead to serious illness, including paralysis, and even death. The bacteria produce hardy spores that can survive in soil. Fruits, meats, fish, and vegetables could be contaminated with the bacterial spores before canning. The spores can survive, grow as bacteria, and produce toxins in improperly canned jars of food. It can be deadly to take even a small taste of food that has this toxin in it. Continue reading