Food safety tips for Thanksgiving

Many Canadians serve poultry (turkey, chicken and duck) at Thanksgiving. If poultry isn’t properly prepared, cooked or stored, you and your family could be at risk of getting food poisoning (also known as foodborne illness).

Symptoms of food poisoning include diarrhea, fever, nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps. There are approximately 4 million cases of food poisoning in Canada every year. Many of these cases could be prevented by following proper food handling and preparation techniques.

Cooking poultry to the proper internal temperature kills harmful bacteria in the food, but it doesn’t help control bacteria that may have been spread around your kitchen while the food was being prepared.

Follow these safety tips to help protect you and your family:

Clean:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw poultry.
  • Clean and sanitize the sink, as well as all surfaces and utensils that have come into contact with raw poultry or its juices to avoid cross-contamination.
  • You can either use commercially available cleaners or make your own cleaning spray by mixing 5 ml (1 teaspoon) of household bleach with 750 ml (3 cups) of water.

Separate:

  • Store poultry in a leak-proof bag or container in the refrigerator or freezer immediately after you buy it.
  • Thaw poultry in the refrigerator or in cold water. If you thaw poultry in cold water, keep it in its original packaging and change the water regularly. Thawing poultry at room temperature is not recommended.
  • Do not rinse poultry before cooking it. This can spread bacteria throughout your kitchen, wherever the water splashes.

Cook:

  • Cook whole poultry until the temperature of the thickest part of the breast or thigh is at least 82ºC (180ºF). Cook poultry pieces to a minimum internal temperature of 74ºC (165ºF). Use a digital food thermometer.
  • Cook stuffing separately in its own dish or on the stove top. If you do stuff your turkey, stuff it loosely just before roasting and remove all stuffing immediately after you remove it from the oven. Cook stuffing to a minimum internal temperature of 74ºC (165ºF).

Chill:

  • Refrigerate leftovers within two hours of cooking. Foods like fully cooked poultry and potatoes can be eaten cold, but if you are reheating leftovers, heat them to 74ºC (165ºF) or warmer. Gravy should be reheated to a full boil.
  • You can safely re-freeze poultry that has not been fully defrosted if the meat is still cold and ice crystals are present.

For more information:

Également disponible en français

SOURCE Health Canada

Food Allergy Canada posts warning about mocking scene in film ‘Peter Rabbit’

By Sheryl Ubelacker

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

TORONTO _ Food Allergy Canada is warning movie-goers about a scene in “Peter Rabbit,” which has created an online backlash for appearing to mock people at risk for the potentially life-threatening condition anaphylaxis.

In the film, based on the popular children’s book by Beatrix Potter and released on the weekend, the character Tom McGregor must use an EpiPen after Peter Rabbit and his furry comrades pelt him with blackberries _ a fruit to which he has a severe allergy.

“Any time you take a serious medical condition and it become the butt of any jokes or it’s not taken seriously, it can be quite difficult and concerning for people,” Beatrice Povolo, a spokeswoman for Food Allergy Canada, said Monday.

Food allergies are a serious public health condition that affect almost 485,000 children in Canada and millions more worldwide, she said.

“And when it is portrayed in this type of fashion, it provides an impression that it’s not as serious as it is, and unfortunately it can be a life-threatening condition for some people.”

The movie’s creators and Sony Pictures, the studio behind them, issued a joint statement Sunday apologizing for being insensitive in their portrayal, saying that “food allergies are a serious issue” and the film “should not have made light” of a character being allergic to blackberries, “even in a cartoonish, slapstick way.”

On Monday, Food Allergy Canada posted a warning about the movie to its social media followers.

“Please be advised there is a reported scene in this children’s movie where a character is knowingly given his allergen, resulting in an anaphylactic reaction, requiring the use of his epinephrine auto-injector. Sony Pictures has since apologized for the scene,” the post reads.

“If you are considering seeing this film with your children, please talk to them beforehand and again following the movie. Any inappropriate depiction of food allergy highlights the need for greater awareness and education in the wider community. We will continue to work toward raising awareness and education regarding the seriousness of food allergy and to encourage respectful and informed dialogues about food allergy.”

The U.S. charity group Kids with Food Allergies has also posted a warning about the scene on its Facebook page, prompting some on Twitter to start using the hashtag #boycottpeterrabbit.

The group said that allergy jokes are harmful to their community and that making light of the condition “encourages the public not to take the risk of allergic reactions seriously.”

Kenneth Mendez, president and CEO of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, wrote an open letter to the studio asking for the opportunity to educate the company and the film’s cast on the realities of food allergies and urged the studio to “examine your portrayal of bullying in your films geared toward a young audience.”

Why should summer have all the leafy fun? Try a winter salad

By Melissa D’Arabian

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Summer may officially be the season of green salads, but wintertime versions have advantages that make them worth exploring.

The cooler weather seasonable greens are hearty and darker green, which makes them nutrient-rich. And, these thicker-leaved greens such as kale or spinach, can hold up to the addition of warm ingredients, opening up the possibilities for topping your salad with roasted goodies in a way that delicate butter lettuce never could.

Have some hearty root veggies in the fridge? Toss them (and some whole garlic cloves _ yum!) in some olive oil and roast them up, and add warm to raw kale leaves with lemon juice, Parmesan and black pepper and you’ve got a winter salad rivaling anything you’d make in July.

Today’s recipe takes inspiration from this season’s holiday cooking pantry ingredients that I always seem to have on hand. Apples, leftover from apple pie, are the salad’s real star, while the pumpkin vinaigrette _ also of pie fame _ plays an important supporting role.

I cut the apples into small cubes and quickly roast them in a little salt and rosemary at high heat, and the little cubes turn into sweet, herbaceous nuggets of flavour _ like raisins, but better _ and make other ingredients almost unnecessary. I add leftover turkey for protein, almonds for crunch and tomatoes for a tiny bit of acid.

You could even add blue cheese or feta if you happened to have some floating around the house, leftover from a cheese party platter. Feel free to swap out ingredients to match your pantry: As long as you are topping winter greens with something warm, whether roasted Brussels sprouts or pan-seared salmon, you’ll be on your way to a tasty winter green salad.

GREEN SALAD WITH PUMPKIN VINAIGRETTE AND ROASTED APPLES

Servings: 4

Start to finish: 30 minutes

Salad:

2 large tart apples (such as Granny Smith), cut into 1-inch cubes (unpeeled), about 3 cups

2 teaspoons fresh minced rosemary

5 cups baby spinach or kale, or other hearty greens

1/2 cup baby tomatoes, halved or quartered

1 1/2 cups shredded cooked white meat chicken or turkey

1/4 cup marcona almonds

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Olive oil in a mister

Pumpkin Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon minced rosemary

1 teaspoon minced shallot

a few turns of freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Place the cubed apple on a parchment-line baking tray and spray with an olive oil mister to coat the cubes. Sprinkle on the minced rosemary and salt, and gently toss the cubes to coat. Bake just until tender and edges are starting to turn golden, about 12 minutes.

Remove from oven and set aside to cool just a few minutes. While the apples are roasting, make the vinaigrette. Place the pumpkin puree, water, vinegar and maple syrup in a small bowl. Whisk the olive oil into the mixture until well-blended. Add the rosemary, shallot and black pepper and stir.

To assemble the salad: place the spinach in a bowl or platter and top with the tomatoes, chicken, almonds and warm, roasted apples. Drizzle with pumpkin vinaigrette, toss, and serve.

___

Nutrition information per serving: 239 calories; 75 calories from fat; 8 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 45 mg cholesterol; 336 mg sodium; 21 g carbohydrate; 6 g fiber; 12 g sugar; 20 g protein.

___

Food Network star Melissa d’Arabian is an expert on healthy eating on a budget. She is the author of the cookbook, “Supermarket Healthy.”

9 Summer Foods That Are Healthier Than You Think

9 Summer Foods That Are Healthier Than You Think

Excerpreted article was written BY LAUREN GELMAN, RD.COM

Watermelon

This juicy and refreshing fruit will not only quench your thirst, but will also deliver a dose of vitamins A, C, potassium, and the cancer-fighting antioxidant lycopene, according to WebMD. It’s also one of the richest natural sources of the amino acid L-citrulline, which helps regulate arterial function and may lower blood pressure, as discovered by researchers in a 2010 Florida State University study. 

Shrimp

Yes, shrimp contains cholesterol, but many researchers think that the cholesterol you consume from food plays a negligible effect on cholesterol in your bloodstream (that number tends to spike in response to a higher intake of certain saturated and trans fats). Shrimp is also high in protein, low in fat, and a good source of heart-protective omega-3s and vitamin B12, according to Outsidemagazine.

Iceberg Lettuce

Darker greens may have more nutrients, says Prevention magazine, but that doesn’t mean iceberg has none. If an iceberg wedge is your favourite salad, note that one cup of shredded leaves delivers about 20 per cent of your daily needs for vitamin K, and 15 per cent for vitamin A. Even if you use iceberg as a salad base for other healthy veggies, you’ve got a great vehicle for overall nutrition.

Popcorn

Real, popped-at-home corn is a terrifically healthy snack. It may even have more antioxidants than certain fruits and vegetables, researchers at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania found last year. Air-popped and without butter, it’s low in fat and high in fibre, says Today nutrition expert Joy Bauer, RD: “five grams of fibre in a four-cup portion is pretty darn impressive for a snack food.”

Celery

Celery boasts a surprising array of good-for-you nutrients, including anti-inflammatory compounds that soothe your digestive tract, disease-fighting antioxidants, and vitamins such as folate, vitamin K, and vitamin C. Crunch on that next time you swirl it around your Bloody Mary or use as a vessel for French onion dip.

Sunflower Seeds

Nuts are a healthy snack favourite among nutritionists and other health experts, but don’t forget about sunflower seeds. They are high in vitamin E, magnesium, and thiamin, which helps yourbrain function.

Sauerkraut

Go ahead, pile it on. Fermented foods like sauerkraut are a unique source of probiotics, which help maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in your belly. “These healthy microbes help with digestion and nutrient absorption,” writes Darya Pino Rose, PhD, in her new book Foodist. “Without them our gut health deteriorates substantially, setting the stage for many chronic diseases.”

Mushrooms

Cooking Light notes that mushrooms are the only vegetable source of vitamin D; and “many compounds have been identified in mushrooms that show potential for boosting immunity and possibly protecting against cancer,” says Pino Rose in Foodist.

Source: Readers Digest
Dieters beware. The office is a danger zone.

Dieters beware. The office is a danger zone.

Excerpted article By Lisa Lillien, a.k.a. Hungry Girl

It’s one thing to stick to your diet in the comfort of your own home: You’ve stocked up on cut veggies and fat-free Greek yogurt, and the only person who sees you write in your food journal is your partner, who’s pretty nonjudgmental about the whole thing. But dieting at the office – with the endless supply of home-baked goods in the communal kitchen and the frequent fast-food lunch breaks – is another thing altogether.

I wish I could tell you to keep up the good work at home and let your guard down when you’re at the office, but because you’re probably spending half of your waking hours at work, that’s not going to fly. Outsmart the whole scenario by doing the following:

Eat Breakfast, Seriously

Everyone from your kindergarten teacher to your know-it-all best friend has extolled the virtues of eating breakfast. Studies have shown that if you eat breakfast, you’re likely to consume fewer calories overall throughout the day. Plus, eating in the morning can jumpstart your metabolism.

Bring Your Lunch

This isn’t exactly rocket science, but the BEST thing you can do to follow your diet at work is to bring a bagged lunch. If there’s anything that derails a diet, it’s feeling that fierce mid-day hunger and not having healthy food handy. Then it’s “hello vending machine!”

The beauty of brown-bagging is twofold:

  1. Packing your own lunch puts you in complete control of your afternoon meal.
  1. A healthy balanced meal will keep you from feeling snacky an hour later.

If You Have to Go Out for Lunch

I get it – you’ve been cooped up in the office all day or you feel the need to socialize with your coworkers or you’ve been bringing sandwiches from home all week and you can’t stand eating another meal at your desk.

There’s nothing wrong with supporting your local lunch economy every now and then. And there are some surprisingly smart options at major fast food chains.

Pack Snacks

Not only will packing your own snacks help keep your hunger at bay, but it’ll give you something to munch on when you’re summoning all your willpower to avoid that birthday cake in the break room. And make sure to pack a few craving busters for the tempting foods you encounter at the office. Those pastries will look a lot less inviting when you’ve got a dessert-flavored snack bar at the ready.

Report: Canadians cool to shopping for groceries online, only 15% have tried it

By Lois Abraham

THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO _ Canadians are happy buying their books and music on the web but aren’t yet embracing online grocery shopping, suggests a recently released report.

According to the results of an online survey of 1,000 Canadians in August, 92 per cent of respondents said they shopped online but only 15 per cent said they had bought groceries on the web.ipad

While almost 40 per cent of online-shopping spending was linked to entertainment purchases, just four per cent was tied to food and groceries.

“With online shopping in general, even in the past with other categories, there had to be an incentive for customers to try it out, to get away from their usual habits, give it a try. And then if there was some benefit they would try it again,” said Suthamie Poologasingham of J.C. Williams Group Ltd., which looked at the online grocery market in its Canadian E-tail Report.

“I think we’re at that stage with grocery and online.”

Canada lags behind the U.S. and U.K. when it comes to online grocery shopping, added Poologasingham.

“Once they understand there is some convenience behind it _ if retailers are able to provide those conveniences and the same products they would provide in store I think we will see more Canadians getting on board.”

Some companies without physical grocery stores like Grocery Gateway, which partners with Longo’s in the Toronto area deliver boxes of groceries, including fresh produce, to the doorsteps of their customers, while IGA, Thrifty Foods and Costco offer some delivery services as well.

Summerhill Market in Toronto teamed up with the delivery service InstaBuggy about six months ago and has seen 30 per cent to 40 per cent growth each month in its online service, said co-owner Christy McMullen.

“I don’t know if everyone will do all of their shopping online. I think they still like the experience of coming in the store, but when you have these big bulky items and you’re in a rush or you don’t have time, then I think online is a really great alternative,” McMullen said.

 

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