Monthly Archives: November 2012

Not So Paltry Poultry

TurkeyIt’s that time of year again…hard to believe, but the holiday season is upon us. The festivities sure don’t feel right without the presence of some favorite holiday foods. From knocking back some eggnog, to mowing down some mashed potatoes, the holidays are a treat for all five senses, especially taste!

The bird that is the word on many American minds during the holidays is, “Turkey.” According to University of Illinois Extension’s “Turkey for the Holidays,” a National Turkey Federation poll found that 88% of Americans eat turkey at Thanksgiving. Freshly roasted out of the oven or cold on a sandwich, Americans keep placing the turkey on the most prominent spot of their table tops during the holiday season.

Though turkeys receive a lot of attention from the American palette during the holiday season, turkeys actually are a food mainstay throughout the year.  That’s right, you don’t need snow or mistletoe, for that matter, to get the American populace interested in carving out a spot for turkey in their diets. In fact, the average American gobbles up 17.6 pounds of turkey yearly. Though many of us might overdo it during the holidays, thankfully that number is not isolated only to the holiday season: “In 1970, 50 percent of all turkey consumed was during the holidays, now just 29 per cent of all turkey consumed is during the holidays as more turkey is eaten year-round.” Not too bad for a “seasonal favorite”, right?

If you are about to prep a turkey for this holiday season, or if you find yourself craving some turkey in July, click here for a year-round resource for handling your bird safely.  Happy holidays; let’s eat!

All Eyes on Laboratory Safety

From school labs to medical labs to QA/QC labs in places like the food industry, eye protection is a safety concern that receives a lot of attention. Rightly so, as every day in the United States, about 2000 workers are treated medically for an eye injury. In addition, eye injuries “alone cost more than $300 million per year in lost production time, medical expenses, and worker compensation.” The proper use of goggles and safety glasses can make a significant difference in lowering these numbers.

One can browse through countless policy manuals for schools, government agencies, and some industrial settings, where eye protection is mandated. With such universal attention paid to eye safety, why do the numbers of injuries and costs remain so high? The answer isn’t a simple one, but some factors can include the following: compliance and standards issues, user error, or simply put: momentary indifference.

Compliance and standards issues involve many possibly enabling factors for eye injuries in the lab. A lack of employee training can factor in, as can a lack of knowledge of federal and state standards. For instance, an employee may not understand that their daily glasses do not provide sufficient protection. Contact users and glasses-wearers need to have additional eye protection, such as goggles that fit around the glasses, or have their prescription incorporated into an ANSI Z87.1 compliant design. These issues may seem quite obvious to some operations, but these causes for concern continue to occur in the lab. To learn more or to refresh your knowledge on eye protection in the workplace click here.

In terms of accidents in the lab, user error is another factor that can come into play. Employees need to ensure that their eye protection is Z87 compliant. Further, they need to know what kinds of hazards exist, and to select the proper eyewear for those hazards. Finally, the eyewear must be properly fitted. For some helpful information on hazards and choosing the proper eyewear for the job, click here.

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