Tag Archives: cross contamination

Let’s Talk Turkey

thanksgiving-turkeyAh, Thanksgiving. An occasion to give pause, show gratitude and celebrate our freedoms and blessings with friends and family. Oh, and also a time to eat… A LOT. But before you belly up to your harvest table on Thursday, keep in mind some food safety tips that will save your Thanksgiving holiday from running a-fowl:

  • While the first Thanksgiving feast likely centered around wildfowl and venison, modern Thanksgiving dinners feature turkey. Turkey is somewhat easy to make (or so I’ve been told), but it’s important to follow some basic food safety rules when handling and cooking your turkey. The USDA recommends thawing frozen turkeys in cold water, but thawing via microwave is also acceptable. When handling the turkey, remember to wash your hands often but DO NOT wash the turkey—a bird bath in the kitchen is a sure way to spread pathogens to other surfaces. Remember, the only way to ensure that you’ve killed potentially harmful bacteria is to thoroughly cook the turkey at a minimum of 325° F until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F in three places: the thickest part of the breast, the innermost part of the thigh, and the innermost part of the wing. Finally, it’s probably pretty safe to say that you’ll be stuffed at the end of your meal, but remember that your bird really shouldn’t be, so that you can ensure even cooking. If you’re a stuffed-poultry traditionalist, don’t fret—the USDA has safety guidelines available for all you fast-and-loose Thanksgiving cooks.
  • There’s more to Thanksgiving than turkey. If you’re like me, the real stars of the Thanksgiving table are the appetizers, side dishes and desserts. While these items are usually a little less dangerous from a food safety-perspective than handling and preparing raw poultry, it’s important to remember that pathogens can develop in just about any food via cross-contamination. Remember to keep meat, poultry, seafood, eggs and produce separated when shopping and preparing foods.  In addition, remember to keep cold foods cold (40°F), and hot foods hot (140°F).
  • Ok, so you’re stuffed and ready to settle in for some football-watching and a nap. Your food safety job is done, right? Wrong. It’s important to properly handle the leftovers so that you can enjoy them the next day without threat of illness. As we insinuated above, bacteria grows rapidly between the temperatures of 40°F and 140°F. So, it’s important that safely-prepared food is left out at room temperature no longer than two hours. When refrigerating leftovers, make sure to cover them, wrap them in airtight packaging or seal them in storage containers to help keep bacteria out. Leftovers can be left in the refrigerator for three to four days, and in the freezer for three to four months. When reheating leftovers, make sure they reach an internal temperature of atleast 165°F.

Follow these food safety tips, and you’ll give thanks for a happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving. Gobble, gobble, everyone!

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Allergens & Protecting Consumers

allergensMay is Food Allergy Month and this week is Allergen Awareness Week. For the approximate 15 million Americans that have some sort of food allergy, it can be an exhausting task to grocery shop. Each aisle might feel a bit like a minefield. Carefully negotiating the vast array of products to ensure they can find the right foods for themselves and their families may bring stress and trepidation.

On the production side, it can also be daunting for food producers to think about successfully handling allergens in their production process, including the possibility of cross-contamination. Daunting as it may be, lives depend on food processors getting a handle on food allergen concerns and ensuring their products are labeled correctly. Consumers depend on producers to help them negotiate the minefield of allergens and deliver them to the checkout with a sense of security and peace that they have purchased the right food for themselves and their loved ones.

A good deal of emphasis is placed on the so-called “Big 8” allergens: milk, egg, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soy. Nelson-Jameson stocks a variety of allergen testing supplies that are important parts to an operation’s needs. Recently, Neogen just released the new, long awaited, Reveal Multi-Tree Nut Allergen Test Kit that tests for cashews, pecans, almonds, pistachio, hazelnuts and walnuts.

At Nelson-Jameson we are always here to help give you peace of mind when dealing with the allergen issues that face us, so that your customers can feel some peace of mind, too.

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More Colors, More Products For You

color-coded-catalogColor-coding is an essential part of many of the operations that we at Nelson-Jameson sell to in the food industry. Color-coded products provide an effective way to organize materials/areas and to prevent cross-contamination. Working with our suppliers, Nelson-Jameson has aimed to offer an unprecedented, wide range of colors and products to meet the needs of our customers. You can check out our current catalog of color-coded products here.

Right now, we are working on adding even more colors and products to our offerings. This is where we would like your help! We are considering the inclusion of a new color, pink. If we were to add this color to our offerings, what specific items would you like to see added?

In addition, we are seeking out ways to take on customer needs when it comes to existing lines. What color gaps (orange, purple, black, etc) in our current line would you most like to see filled?

We want to hear from you! Nelson-Jameson prides itself on being in touch with our customers and consistently seeking to meet their needs. So please share with us what you think about these topics. Feel free to post your thoughts below or contact our MRO Department at 800-826-8302 to share your perspectives!

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