Ice Cream Caution.

Well, I didn't feel any more motivated yesterday, hence the lack of posting. You can expect over that I may miss a post or two. Things are busy and my brain is tired.

From my Microbiology studying yesterday, I learned a lot about food safety. I took some food safety training a couple of years ago and find it quite compelling. It is crazy that students are not taught (much) cooking and nutrition in high school; how are adults supposed to learn to cook?! On top of that, it is crazy that safe food handling practices are also not taught. It seems really basic, but I imagine many, many people don't know how to properly store, handle, prepare, and cook their food safely. Many digestive upsets people experience may simply be due to this and not any underlying food allergies or flu-bug infestations.

Here are some general rules, extremely basic, but worth repeating:

- Hot food needs to stay hot, and cold food cold. Heat-up your once-was-hot leftovers before eating them. Store juices and salads in cold places until it is time to eat. Invest in a cooler/insulated bag to carry your lunch.
- Be super mindful of cutting boards. Don't chop veggies on the same surface as meat. Clean meat cutting boards immediately after use. Some people have a separate cutting board just for meat cutting.
- Wash hands after touching unsuspecting things, such as egg shells and meat packaging (the package may be contaminated even if the meat isn't).
- Wash all fruit and veggies before eating, even "shelled" fruits, like mangoes, avocados, and cantaloupe. Once the knife slices the fruit, the bacteria on the outside is now pushed through (by the knife) into the yummy insides.
- Bring leftovers to a rolling boil to kill off bacteria.
- Don't eat leftovers more than three to five days old. Freeze leftovers to prolong their life.
- Don't sneak bites of leftovers once they've been cooled and are sitting in the fridge; they needed to be heated.
- Wash hands before eating, sounds ridiculously simple, but we often forget this little rule. A coworker offers a chocolate? A sample is offered in the grocery store? Grab an apple out of the fridge? All situations when we often neglect to clean our grubby paws.

- Lastly, as wasteful as it seems, throw out anything that has been open for six months and not eaten. Bacteria doesn't just live in meat, but can grow in stale cereal boxes and even in frozen goods. Ice cream provides a happy home for Listeria, a nasty bacteria. Throw out really freezer burnt ice cream or any tubs older than six months old.

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