Food Safety During the 2019 Shutdown

food safetyWith the United States federal government partially shut down, USDA inspection is now limited. That means you have to take some extra precautions.

For ground beef, because it comes from different sources and the grinder may not be as clean as it could be, either stay away completely, grind your own from meat from a trusted source, or make sure to cook it to 160 for beef, 165 for poultry. For pork, it should be 140.

People like me, who like rare hamburgers, are going to have to make adjustments. I really don’t like dried out burgers, so I will either grind my own or abstain completely.

What about vegetables? As always, wash vegetables, but before doing so, dunk them in white vinegar for a few seconds, then rinse. Remove any leaves from leafy vegetables that are wilted or brown because they are more likely to inhabit nasty bacteria.

There have been reports of salmonella in flour. Good God, that too? Yes, and it’s easily remedied by putting the measured amount of flour needed on a sheet pan and putting it in a preheated 350 oven for a few minutes, just to get hot, not to get brown.

Now more than ever, it’s really important to not eat any raw egg. That means no licking the cake batter bowl. Sorry, kids, just want to keep you safe.

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