Blog posts of '2019' 'May'

Produce Food Safety

There’s a certain buzz that starts to develop as the weather warms, and we’re not only talking about the bees and flies. You start seeing neighbors working in their yards, people walking their dogs, jogging, and yes, planting their gardens. Farmers markets start to pop up and there’s just an overall excitement in the air. That said, chances are you’ll still purchase some of your produce at the grocery store and, as 2018 taught us, that can be risky. From tainted lettuce to the disappearance of sprouts on sandwiches, produce is an important part of food safety.

In 2015, the FDA enacted The Produce Safety Rule which federally regulated standards for production, harvest, and handling of fruits and veggies in an effort to prevent contamination that causes foodborne illness. This rule targets worker health, hygiene, and training, water standards, and equipment, tool, and building sanitation.

 

In spite of this rule, people still get sick from produce so it’s important to practice your own produce safety. Try to choose items that aren’t damaged or bruised and be sure to keep produce separate from raw meat and poultry. When choosing fresh-cut produce choose items that are stored properly in coolers or surrounded by ice.

 

Once home, make sure you’re washing the produce and countertops you’re using to prep them clean. Keep all produce, precut or otherwise, refrigerated at temperature of 40 degrees or lower.

Weddings and Food Allergies

At some point in the wedding planning process it’s pretty much guaranteed a bride will envision all things that can go wrong. One scenario people tend to overlook is food allergies. According to the Food Allergy Research and Education website, an estimated 32 million Americans have food allergies and that includes 5.6 million children. So the chance that someone attending your wedding has a food allergy isn’t far-fetched. So how do you go about planning your big day around food allergies? It’s actually not too difficult a problem to solve and in terms of wedding karma, it’ll definitely earn you some kindness credits!

 

The first thing you can do is briefly educate yourself on the various food allergies and sensitivities. You certainly don’t want anyone going hungry or not coming to your wedding at all simply because of menu restrictions. Most of the serious food allergy reactions are caused by 8 major allergens: milk, eggs, peanut, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish and crustacean shellfish. Awareness is the first way you can avoid serious health scares at your wedding.

 

Include a space for food allergy information on your RSVPs. This is a great way to double check any food restrictions. Your guests will be appreciative, and you’ll have the information you need to make sure no one is left out and no one gets sick. This is especially important if someone has a severe allergy to something and even having it in the air can cause a reaction. The information will help you decide what to serve or put out on tables for snacks and favors.

 

Having a seating chart is another great way to handle food allergies. You can plan tables according to allergies. Plus, name cards can have indicators as well. This will also help caterers and servers when it comes to serving the food. A seat chart removes some of the probability of human error. Servers can double check the right food is going to the correct guest.