SDSU Extension has created an online course for those wanting to learn how to preserve their own food. The course consists of two options, one for those simply wanting to learn about preserving food (Home Food Processor Track) and another for individuals wanting to become a mentor (South Dakota Home Food Processing Mentor Track).
Food -- a perfect medium to teach science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts. Pick and choose from a curriculum that incorporates real life experience into virtual and hands-on labs, classroom discussion guides, presentations and videos. Not only do students learn a STEM concept, they increase their awareness of food and agriculture careers that are related to the safety of the food supply.
Community and Church Fall festivals as well as craft fairs are underway and this is the time of year numerous inquires come to Extension regarding the regulations for selling home processed and/or baked foods to the general public at the various fall bazaars.
If food has thawed in your refrigerator or freezer, you are probably facing an odor problem that hangs on even after the spoiled food is gone. Getting rid of this odor is likely to take time, patience and a combination of techniques. The first step is to clean the appliance with a gentle household cleaning solution and water. Be sure to wash around the gaskets in the door and the defrost drip pan.
In an FDA survey, only 21 percent of respondents said they put a thermometer in the fridge to check its temperature. People tend to trust that the refrigerator is going to be cold enough when relying on its factory settings. As many as 43% of home refrigerators have been found to be at temperatures above 40° F, putting them in the food safety “danger zone” where harmful bacteria can multiply.
September is National Food Safety Education Month. A different focus is chosen every year and this year’s topic is home refrigeration. It is not “out of sight – out of mind” when it comes to bacterial growth in the refrigerator. Bacteria can survive and some can even grow in cool, moist environments like the refrigerator. In fact, Listeria bacteria can grow at temperatures below 40 °F. A recent study showed that the refrigerator produce compartment might contain Salmonella and Listeria, making it one of the “germiest” places in the kitchen.
Monica Pugh sells her home-canned jams and jellies at the Sioux Empire Farmers Market in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Pugh started selling her products at the farmers market in 2012; however she has been making jams and jellies for over 23 years.
On August 5th, Dr. Lily Edwards-Callaway, head of animal welfare at JBS, discussed the successes, challenges, and areas for continued improvement of cattle handling throughout their meat processing plants. Audit standards for animal handling are in place at meat processing plants and most company programs are based off of the North American Meat Institute animal handling and auditing guidelines.
Hand washing is one of the most important steps people can take to avoid getting sick and to prevent spreading germs to others. This is important all year long, but is especially important in the summertime when many fairs and festivals are held. Many times these events include animals–and most times these events include food. Both occasions are reasons for extra hand washing.
As the local county and state fairs start popping up around the Midwest it is time to get out and enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and taste of the fairs. There is nothing more fun than taking the kids to see all of the exhibits and vendors. Particular favorites for most families and young kids is the animal petting zoo or walking through the livestock exhibits. Even though the animals are healthy you still need to help teach your child proper preventative health care around the animals.
The South Dakota Department of Health (2014) repeatedly reports the summer months as experiencing the highest incidence of several foodborne diseases. For example, in 2014 South Dakota experienced 66% of E. coli cases in July, August and September. A similar three-month spike is seen for Salmonella (41%, July - September) and Campylobacter (49% - June through August).
Students in the SDSU course that I teach, Animal Diseases and Their Control, were recently asked to think critically about an uncommon but potentially serious public health problem: the movement of germs from animals to people at petting zoos and fairs. Each year, illnesses such as E. coli O157:H7 and cryptosporidiosis are associated with contact between people (often children) and animals on exhibit.
Food drying is one of the oldest methods of preserving food for later use. It can either be an alternative to canning or freezing, or compliment these methods. Drying foods is simple, safe and easy to learn. With modern food dehydrators, fruit leathers, banana chips and beef jerky can all be dried year round at home.
The following article contains links, resources, and publications with information for preserving low-acid foods. Check inside for more information!
Acid foods are foods that contain enough acid to have a pH of 4.6 or lower, while acidified foods are those that have acid added during processing (added lemon juice or vinegar). Most fruits and tomatoes are naturally acid foods. Acid and acidified foods can be safely preserved using a boiling water-bath canner.
During warm weather, it is especially important to take extra precautions and practice safe food handling when preparing perishable foods such as meat, poultry, seafood and egg products. The warmer weather conditions may be ideal for outdoor picnics and barbecues, but they also provide a perfect environment for bacteria and other pathogens in food to multiply rapidly and cause foodborne illness.
Flood, fire, national disaster, or the loss of power from high winds, snow or ice could jeopardize the safety of your food and water. Knowing how to determine if food or water is safe and how to keep it safe will help minimize the potential loss of food and reduce the risk of food-borne illness.
Food-borne illnesses know no boundaries. They will attack all ages, from infants to seniors. Safe handling of food is critical from the farm to the table to reduce the risk of food borne illness. Use food preparation skills that will protect your family from illness or even death.
Freezing is one of the easiest, more convenient, and least time-consuming methods of food preservation. By following specific directions for freezing food, you can enjoy high quality frozen food.
Farmers are entrusted with the care of the animals that produce our food before it gets to our plates. Whether food is purchased in a grocery store, a farmers market, or directly from a farmer, the animals that produce the food have been provided the best possible care and handling throughout their lives to ensure the food supply is safe. As relevant topics are written discussing on-farm management practices that impact the safety of our food supply, the select iGrow articles will be updated.
Meat provides protein and other essential nutrients to our diets, however, if not handled and prepared properly, it can also carry pathogens. Within this article are links to information about methods of preparing meat, handling meat safely, various cuts of meat, and other meat science topics. Select iGrow articles will be added to as relevant topics are written.
Keep the harvest in mind when planning your garden. Garden crops can be preserved to enjoy throughout the year. Horticulture and Food Safety Extension specialists have teamed up to provide a series of articles that bring planting, harvesting and preserving together to get the most out of your garden.
South Dakota currently has about sixty farmers markets. This online guidebook was created to assist new and developing markets in the state. New content will be added to this article frequently, please check back for more information.
If you have children or belong to any organizations at all, eventually you will be asked to work in a concession stand. After a while, you will be even be given the opportunity to be in charge of the concession stand. Concession stands, or food stands, are a part of our culture as they are a feature of many community celebrations and athletic events.
If you have a special recipe or canned jelly that people tell you is “good enough to sell!” and you would like to do just that to make a little holiday money, or if you have a bake sale or bazaar to organize for fundraising, these are some of the guidelines you should follow in order to comply with state regulations to sell your products.
Consumers may seek out milk and cream fresh from the farm that has not been pasteurized or homogenized for many types of holiday dishes their family has enjoyed for years. Several of these dishes have a cooking step that brings the food to a temperature that will destroy the pathogens that may be present in raw milk.
Licensed foodservice establishments commonly prepare foods to be marketed as a packaged food item. Product dating for ready-to-eat (RTE), temperature controlled for safety foods must be marketed or consumed within a certain amount of time for safety. If a food is potentially hazardous and is held for at least 24 hours it must be labeled with a specific date for consumption or discarded.
The South Dakota Department of Health Office of Health Protection serves as the regulatory body enforcing the South Dakota Foodservice Code. If within the city of Sioux Falls, the Sioux Falls Department of Health is the regulatory authority for all foodservice types of establishments.
Consider a trip to the grocery store and vast selection available to consumers in the ready-to-eat cereal isle, as well as other areas in the store. There is a lot of information available to consumers to help them make decisions for their meal options. To assist the food industry in communicating with consumers, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration writes the Food Labeling Guide in compliance with the Federal Code of Regulations (Title 21).
The South Dakota State Legislature passed a bill in 2010 that allowed for the sale of home baked goods and home canned foods at farmer’s markets and similar venues. Refer to the publications in this article to learn what you can do regarding this law.
South Dakota State University can assist with developing nutrition fact labels for products you are developing with plans to sell, or if you simply want nutrition information for your favorite recipe.
This program consists of five fact sheets that cover critical safe food handling practices associated with food pantries associated with food pantries that receive and distribute food products. The self- study provides a medium that allows for you to receive the training when it best fits into your schedule.
A self-study for food preparation sites: Food service operations, volunteer food preparation and service sites, along with temporary food preparation and service sites are encouraged to use this program to train their staff and volunteers regarding critical safe food handling practices.
South Dakota Farmers Markets are gaining popularity as a way for small businesses to earn a profit while enabling consumers to buy local foods.
The culture and tradition in South Dakota communities relies heavily on a significant number of fundraisers and food-focused events using temporary food stands. These are run primarily with volunteers. The need for education in food safety to reduce risks of food borne illness continues to grow.
Food-borne diseases cause approximately 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths in the United States each year. Most cases of food-borne illness can be prevented through education on proper handling, preparation, cooking, processing cooling and storage of foods.