- September 21, 2018
- General News
September is National Food Safety Education Month, and we couldn't think of anyone better to give us some food safety tips than our Executive Chef Emmitt Taylor and Cindy Shipman, our dietitian.
According to the CDC, every year, an estimated 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from eating contaminated food. Some people are more likely to get a foodborne illness or get seriously ill. Executive Chef Emmitt Taylor and Cindy Shipman shared with us some of their food safety tips.
Cindy shares a few of her tips for grocery shopping, explaining “I always ask folks to be sure they check dates, especially on refrigerated items. One of the things I commonly buy is organic salsa. The shelf life is probably three days by the time they stock it and I notice a lot of people don’t even look for a date- you always need to be looking at the date on anything you pick up. Some items expire so quickly, so just be sure to buy safe food.”
With the back to school season having just started, Cindy shares some tips for parents packing lunches for their kids and themselves. She says, “anybody packing a lunch, I always remind them to keep their food at the right temperature. Whenever I talk about fruits and vegetables for folks to eat, I always am sure to remind them to rinse the vegetables that they’re going to eat as they are, but they rinse the ones they’re going to peel, because you can contaminate the knife and transfer microbes from the outside to the inside if that outside surface isn’t clean.”
When preparing a meal, Cindy wants you to think about handwashing. “Start any meal prep with handwashing. Sometimes people just come home from work and start working on their meal without washing their hands even though they’ve done it at work all day. Wash your hands with soap and water!” Chef Emmitt adds, “One of the simplest and easiest things to do if you’re cooking at home is to make sure you’re in a clean environment. You want everything to be clean and sanitized,” she shares.
Chef Emmitt shared some of his best food safety tips when it comes to cooking meals, noting “you don’t want food sitting out for extensive periods of time. You only want to utilize what you’re going to be making. For example, if you’re making a roast or a stew, you don’t want to time or temperature abuse the product. Keep it refrigerated until after you cut up the vegetables that you’re going to use, which you have washed beforehand. When you’re cooling foods down, wash, rinse, and sanitize in between. Eating undercooked chicken or fish could be hazardous to your health, so make sure you cook your food until it is completely done. Many people may not have a meat thermometer at their house, but this ensures food is cooked to the right temperature to be consumed.”
The Bay Medical team has taken extensive measures to implement food safety at Bay Medical. Chef Emmitt shared, “Here at Bay Medical, we’re super dedicated to food safety. It’s the most important thing we do because of the population that we’re taking care of here. We have gotten 24 of our hourly employees manager level food safety certifications. We have paid for our hourly employees to be certified in the National Restaurant Association’s ServSafe Certification, ensuring that they are experts at food safety because it is the most important thing we do here.”