Safe & Healthy: Cucumbers contaminated with Salmonella

There is a national recall of cucumbers on-going due to Salmonella contamination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with the Food and Drug Administration and several states, is investigating an outbreak of illness from Salmonella Poona linked to contaminated cucumbers. A total of 285 cases of illness have been reported in 27 states; […]

Read More...

Safe & Healthy: Listeria in frozen vegetables

There have been two national recalls recently of commercially frozen vegetables due to potential contamination with the pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. On August 26, 2015, General Mills recalled 60,000 packages of Cascadian Farm Cut Green Beans after one package of finished product tested positive for the presence of Listeria monocytogenes. The 10-ounce bags of frozen green beans […]

Read More...

Safe & Healthy: Salmonella in Spices

Two recent news stories highlighted the need to talk about the increasing link between spices that we might find in our kitchens and foodborne illness.  On Wednesday, July 29, 2016, Kroger stores in 31 states recalled store-brand ground cinnamon, course ground black pepper, Bac’n Buds, and garlic powder due to possible contamination with Salmonella.   A sample of Kroger […]

Read More...

Safe Preserving: Largest botulism outbreak in 40 years

The Centers for Disease Control has issued a report on the largest botulism outbreak in the United States in 40 years. On April 19, 2015 a church in Lancaster, Ohio held a widely attended potluck luncheon at which potato salad containing home-canned potatoes was one item served. One woman died of respiratory failure linked to botulism […]

Read More...

Safe & Healthy: The Risks of Raw Milk and Raw Milk Cheese

My family enjoys biking together. This past weekend we did a 25-mile loop to Paoli and Verona and back to Madison.  It was a perfect summer day, and we passed a lot of dairy farms on our route. The cows on the farms seemed contented, and so were we.  Recent results released by the Centers […]

Read More...

Safe Preserving: Botulism in homemade pickles

Consumers who follow an up-to-date recipe for homemade pickled products can avoid the risk of illness from Clostridium botulinum.  But the risk of botulism poisoning from improperly prepared pickled products does exist, as evidenced by a recall of pickled products by Homemade of Leavenworth. On July 14, 2015, Homemade of Leavenworth (WA) recalled all pickle […]

Read More...

Safe & Healthy: Best not to kiss your chickens

Health officials across the United States are investigating four multi-state outbreaks of human Salmonella infections linked to contact with live poultry. As of the end of June, 2015, 181 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella have been reported from 40 states, with 33 people hospitalized as a result. The increased number of families […]

Read More...

Safe Preserving: What does ‘use a tested recipe’ mean when steam canning?

The University of Wisconsin recently issued recommendations for safely using an atmospheric steam canner for home canning of naturally acid or acidified foods.  One of the questions that has been asked (repeatedly) based on these recommendations is: “What does it mean to use a ‘tested recipe’ when canning with an atmospheric steam canner?” Research conducted […]

Read More...

Safe Preserving: Can electric cookers be used for canning?

A simple web search these days reveals any number of electric pressure cookers for sale. While these units claim that they can be used as pressure canners, this is not the case. These units have not been tested to ensure that they may safely be used for canning, and they are only recommended for cooking. […]

Read More...

Safe & Healthy: Green Eggs and Green Ham

In the famous children’s book by Dr. Seuss, Green Eggs and Ham,  Sam-I-Am persists in asking the story’s lead character  to try green eggs and ham.  It makes for an engaging children’s story, but are green eggs and ham safe to eat? Let’s find out! Why is the yolk of a hard-boiled egg sometimes green […]

Read More...