Food Safety

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    Food Safety Scientist

    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.

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    Handwashing for Your Health

    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.

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    Stay Healthy at Your Local and State Fair

    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.

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    Staying Healthy During Fair Season

    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).

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    Preventing Animal-to-Human Diseases at Fairs and Petting Zoos: Ideas from SDSU Students

    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.

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    Canning Tomato: Vegetable Mixtures

    Tomatoes are unique when it comes to home canning recipes. Some tomato recipes recommend using a boiling water bath canner, some recipes recommend a pressure canner, and some recipes offer both options. This is because of the fine balance created with combining high acid foods with low acid foods. For example – salsa made with tomatoes (acid food) and peppers and onions (low-acid food). The ratio of the ingredients will determine the pH level.

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    Stewards of Plenty: 2015 South Dakota Feedlot Tour

    Most people probably think feedlots are only about feeding cattle to provide beef for our dinner tables. After all, “Beef, it’s what’s for dinner”. Cattle feeding is a tiny part of the daily routine for modern feeders. Redstone Feeders of Iroquois, Warkenthien Feedyard of Clark, Moes Feedlot LLC of Florence, and J & J Farms of Bruce opened their gates for tours on July 14th. Let’s look at some of the ways these four feedlots are more than just cattle feeders.

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    Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza: What Does it Mean for City Dwellers?

    The emergence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in the spring of 2015 was devastating for many large turkey and egg layer farms, but the virus also affected smaller “household” flocks. City dwellers are increasingly turning to backyard poultry flocks for food as well as for the enjoyment of raising these animals. These producers, as well as other citizens who enjoy songbirds, gardening, and other activities in their urban backyards, have found themselves needing to bone up on this devastating disease.

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    Animal Care Webinar Summary: Ongoing Research on Public Perception

    On July 1st, Dr. Candace Croney, Director of Purdue University’s Center for Animal Welfare Science shared some survey findings on Public Perception and Communication of Animal Welfare from ongoing research at Purdue and elsewhere.

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    Summertime Food Safety

    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.

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    Food Safety Starts on the Farm

    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.

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    Safe and Quality Meat Preparation

    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.

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    Selling Food Gifts Made at Home

    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.

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    Tis’ The Season of Raw Milk and Cream

    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.

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    Date Marketing Ready-to-Eat Refrigerated Foods from Licensed Kitchens

    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.

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    Food Package Labeling

    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).

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