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food safety

Food Safety Tips For Halloween

Trick-or-treating, costume parties, and apple bobbing are fun pastimes associated with Halloween. Unfortunately a lot can go wrong if the proper safety measures are not in place. To ensure your children are safe, follow these Halloween food safety tips via FDA.gov:

  • Snacking – Have your children eat a light meal or snack before they head out trick-or-treating. They should wait until they are home and you can inspect their treats before consuming them.
  • Safe Treats – Children should not accept, and especially not eat, anything that is not commercially wrapped. Inspect all candies for any signs of tampering, such as unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Toss anything that looks suspicious.
  • Food Allergies – If your child has a food allergy, check the label to ensure the allergen is not present. Seek houses with teal pumpkins on display, as these denote that non-food treats are available. Any home-baked goods he or she may have received should not be consumed.
  • Choking Hazards – These include gum, peanuts, hard candies, and small toys. If you have very young children, be sure to sort through their bags and remove these choking hazards.

Bobbing For Apples
This classic game has the potential for spreading bacteria that can cause foodborne illness.

  • To reduce the number of bacteria that might be present on apples and other raw fruits and vegetables, thoroughly rinse them under cool running water. Consider using a produce brush to remove surface dirt as well.
  • New spin on apple bobbing from FightBAC.org: Cut out apple shapes from red construction paper and write an activity on each (ex. do 5 jumping jacks). Place a paper clip on each apple and put them in a large basket. Tie a magnet to a string and let the children take turns “bobbing” and doing the activity written on the apple. Treat the kids to fresh apples after you are done.

Party At Home

  • Unpasteurized juice or cider can contain harmful bacteria such as salmonella. Stay safe by always serving pasteurized products at your parties.
  • Resist the urge to taste raw cookie dough or cake batter that contains uncooked eggs.
  • Keep all perishable foods chilled until serving time – bacteria will creep up on you if you let food sit out too long. These include finger sandwiches, cheese platters, fruit or tossed salads, cold pasta dishes with meat, poultry or seafood, and cream pies or cakes with whipped-cream and cream-cheese frostings. Don’t leave perishable goodies out of the fridge for more than two hours (1 hour in temperatures above 90°F).

Share your own Halloween food safety tips with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Fuel up at the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli before you head out for your Halloween fun! We will have normal store hours for Halloween on Wednesday, October 31 (7:00am-4:00pm; breakfast served until 10:30am). You may also order our food for delivery via DoorDash or UberEATS.

Food Safety For Outdoor Cooking

The official start of summer is just around the corner! The weather is heating up, which means you’ll likely spend more time cooking outdoors. However, cooking outdoors with the warmer temperatures can create an unsafe environment for your food. Here are some food safety tips to keep you and your guests from falling ill.

Produce

  • Be aware of any food recalls before you start shopping.
  • Even if you will be peeling or discarding the skin, it is important to always wash your fruits and vegetables. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend using a brush to scrub harder produce (ex. melons, cucumbers).
  • Avoid cross contamination by keeping your fruits and vegetables away from raw meat.
  • Be sure to properly store your produce before cooking. Refrigerator temperature should be set to 40°F or lower, and the freezer should be set to 0°F or lower to help prevent spoiling.

Meat

  • Save your raw meats and poultry for last at the grocery store. This ensures that they stay cooler longer.
  • Again, avoid cross contamination by bagging raw meats separately.
  • After handling raw meat, wash hands immediately and clean your workstations.
  • Discard packaging that came in contact with raw meat, and keep other foods separate so raw meat juices do not contaminate the other foods.
  • Invest in a meat thermometer. Your goal should be to reach these temperatures:
    • 145°F for whole cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and veal, plus fish as well
    • 160°F for hamburgers and ground beef
    • 165°F for all poultry and pre-cooked meats (ex. hot dogs)

Grill

  • Keep grill clean. Watch for bristles from wire brushes that may get stuck on the grill and, consequently, can get stuck in your food.
  • If you cooked any meat ahead of time, be sure to reheat the meat to at least 165°F.
  • Remember – grilling meat at high temps can create carcinogenic chemicals. It is advised that you eat grilled meat in moderation. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently announced that processed meats in general are carcinogens and that red meat is likely a carcinogen, too.

Leftovers

  • According to the CDC, any pre-cooked or ready to eat foods should be eaten as soon as possible.
  • Your deli meat shouldn’t sit longer than five days in the refrigerator.
  • If you have an opened package of hot dogs, you should use it within a week.
  • The CDC also recommends that leftovers in general should be eaten within four days.

Are you planning any backyard cookouts this summer? Any cooking tips you want to share? Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can also find us on Instagram, Vine, and Pinterest.

Visit us and enjoy the warmer weather on our patio. Or you can take our food to go and find a nice picnic spot. Stop by weekdays between 10:30am-7:30pm and Saturdays 10:30am-4:30pm. Want to avoid the line? Go to www.BrickMarketDeli.com and order online!