Food Safety and Quality

 Content Query Web Part

  • Posted by: Kristin Woods on 3/10/2015 11:33 AM

    produce 300.pngSpring is on its way and now is the time to plan what produce you may want to plant in your garden. In order to get the most out of your garden space, it’s important to plan what to put in the ground, and also plan how to preserve the bountiful harvest.  Careful planning and careful attention throughout the growing season can provide your family with delicious home grown fruits and vegetables throughout the year.

    Two resources can help with your planning. The first is the Alabama Extension publication “The Alabama Vegetable Gardner”. It gives vegetable yields per 100 feet of land – an essential planning tool for the home food producer.  For example, 100 feet of tomatoes should yield 100 pounds of tomatoes. The publication also contains information [...]

    Comments: 2
  • Posted by: Kristin Woods on 10/29/2014 1:25 PM

    Whether you are an Auburn or Alabama fan, Saturdays in are known for football and grilling.  Finger foods are perfect for keeping football party guests happy game after game.  They are portable, easy to handle, and offer guests the option to try a wide variety of foods.  The possibilities are endless – meats, cheeses, fruits, and vegetables of all types imaginable can be engineered to be grill friendly. Here are a few ideas that will help make your football party a touchdown (even if your team loses).
    ·       Roll pieces of sausage in thin bacon, use a toothpick to hold it together, sprinkle with brown sugar.  Grill on low heat until the sausage and bacon are fully cooked.

    Comments: 1
  • Posted by: Kristin Woods on 7/31/2014 11:04 AM

    code date.JPG

    The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that about 133 billion pounds of food is

    wasted annually. This loss has an estimated $161.6 billion in retail value.  That’s $523 worth of food per person per year!  
    Unfortunately, in the US there is no uniform system used for food dating.  Some of the dates you might see include:

     A "Sell-By" date tells the store how long to display the product for sale. For best quality, you should buy the product before this date.

    • [...]

    Comments: 2
  • Posted by: Jake Thomas on 7/23/2014 8:43 AM

    Classes in Northwestern Alabama: Contact Susan Hill at 205-489-5376

    August 12, 2014 Morning Class 10AM to 12:00 PM and an Evening Class 5:00PM to 7:00 PM            Franklin County Extension Office; Franklin County Courthouse Room 1; Russellville AL 35653
    August 1[...]

    Comments: 0
  • Posted by: Kristin Woods on 6/12/2014 2:23 PM

    fm low res.jpgLocally grown and produced food is becoming more and more popular across Alabama. Farmers markets have provided small food producers and home processors greater economic opportunity. Because of the costs of meeting food regulations, in many cases the markets have provided the only venue available to a small producer. They provide an outlet for products and assistance with infrastructure and advertising. In the last 10 years, the number of farmers markets nationwide has more than doubled.  The demand has led many processors to wish to expand operations by starting a business out of their home, a cottage food business.  According to a recent survey conducted by ATKearney, 30% of shoppers will switch sto[...]

    Comments: 3
  • Posted by: Kristin Woods on 5/30/2014 3:53 PM

    The Alabama Farmer’s Market program provides a way for farmers to provide locally grown produce, baked goods, flowers, and other agricultural products to the public.  The program helps assure the consumer a high quality product at a reasonable price and a fair profit for the producer.  There are a million good reasons to shop Alabama Farmer’s Markets.  Here are the top 4 that we came up with:

    1)      Tasty food.  Locally grown food tastes better.  Local produce is picked at its peak and travels only a few miles to get to the [...]

    Comments: 1
  • Posted by: Kristin Woods on 7/11/2013 1:46 PM

    ice cream Homemade ice cream is a fabulous summertime treat, but beware that some ice cream recipes contain a potentially deadly ingredient – raw eggs. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 2200 illness were reported from Salmonella in eggs in 2009 and 2010. Salmonella can be transmitted from the hen to the egg yolk before the shell forms. For this reason, you should not use raw, unpasteurized eggs in recipes that will not be cooked, like homemade ice cream.

    What can you do?

    • Use an eggless recipe. It's easy. The eggs add richness, but many eggless recipes taste just as good!
    • Use pasteurized shell eggs or pasteurized egg substitutes in place of raw eggs. Pasteurized eggs can be found in the dairy case near the regular eggs. Although pasteurized eggs may cost a few cents [...]

    Comments: 2
  • Posted by: Emily Campbell on 3/1/2013 11:10 AM

    ​​Because pregnancy affects the immune system, pregnant women and their unborn babies are more susceptible to the bacteria, viruses, and parasites that cause foodborne illnesses. Even if you don't feel sick, some microorganisms like Listeria and Toxoplasma can infect your baby and cause serious health problems. Your baby is also sensitive to toxins from the food that you eat, such as mercury in certain kinds of fish.

    Pregnant woman eating These are the foods you should avoid as soon as you know you are pregnant:

    SOFT cheeses made from unpasteurized milk, including Brie, Feta, Camembert, Roquefort, queso blanco, and queso fresco may contain E. coli or Listeria. Listeria is a bacterium which grows at refrigeration temperatures and can cause miscarriages.

    Homemade RAW cookie dough and cake b[...]

    Comments: 5
  • Posted by: Emily Campbell on 2/4/2013 12:23 PM

    With the USDA's most recent push for us to consume more produce (www.Choose My we are encouraged to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables, to shoot for a goal of covering one half of our plates with fruits and vegetables, and then eating them up of course.

    fresh vegetables But with increased intake of produce, especially raw produce, it is inevitable that there will be accompanying increases in foodborne illness incidents caused by harmful bacteria that are naturally present on agricultural products.

    Consumers must follow safe handling guidelines for produce at home ( but first, at [...]

    Comments: 0
  • Posted by: Kristin Woods on 11/15/2012 1:28 PM

    Comments: 3
  • Posted by: Kristin Woods on 11/8/2012 10:32 AM

    thanksgiving foodIt's a time-honored tradition for many people to bring food to holiday gatherings. How do you  decide who brings what or how to travel with food if you're asked to bring something?

    When assigning foods or deciding what to take, consider type of food and distance to travel. Remember the 2-hour rule: Avoid leaving perishable foods at room temperature longer than 2 hours (1 hour in warmer seasons when the temperature is over 90° F). The 2 hours includes preparation time for foods that aren't cooked or foods that need more prepara[...]

    Comments: 0
  • Posted by: Kristin Woods on 10/19/2012 11:51 AM


    Tailgating season brings family and friends together to cheer for their favorite team. This festive time undoubtedly includes eating burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, baked beans, and maybe even some wild game. All too often, a tailgater may feel a little nauseous and under the weather after the game or maybe even a few days later. Symptoms may have been dismissed as a stomach virus, but more than likely, it was caused by something you ate. When we tailgate, we’re cooking without the luxuries of our home kitchen so special care should be taken to avoid food poisoning.

    Rule#1 Plan

    Plan ahead. Bring coolers with plenty of ice f[...]

    Comments: 0
  • Posted by: Kristin Woods on 3/30/2012 9:10 AM


    Of all the ways to preserve food, drying is the simplest. Removing water from the food prevents the growth of bacteria and mold, and slows down spoilage causing enzymes. Dried foods can be consumed dry (fruit or jerky) or restored by soaking in water (like vegetables). Dried foods are lightweight and take up little storage space compared to canned foods. Here a few frequently asked questions about drying foods. prepared_trays

    1. My banana chips don't taste like the ones in the store. What can I do? There are a variety of banana ch[...]

    Comments: 10
  • Posted by: Kristin Woods on 3/29/2012 11:16 AM


    These days it seems everyone wants to buy fresh, locally grown produce, but that means an  abundance of peas in August and squash in June. What to do with 20 pounds of squash can be quite a challenge. More and more people are trying food preservation as a way to enjoy high quality, nutritious produce year round. Don’t be afraid to try it – the taste of fresh, locally grown produce is always better than what you buy in the grocery store, even when canned, frozen, or dried. Here are some answers to questions we get in o6_jars_no_background_0_jpg[...]

    Comments: 3
  • Posted by: Kristin Woods on 11/24/2011 8:42 PM

    One of the best parts of the Thanksgiving meal is the leftovers.  Try this Turkey and Broccoli Quiche to mix things up a bit.broccoli-quiche-melissa-sanders-flickr

    Turkey and Broccoli Quiche


    2 (9 inch) ready-made piecrusts

    4 eggs

    1 cup low-fat or skim milk

    ¾ cup low-fat cheddar cheese

    ¾ cup cooked, chopped turkey

    1 (10 ounce) package frozen, chopped broccoli

    ¼ cup carrots, shredded

    ¼ cup finely chopped onion

    ¾ cup teaspoon garlic salt

    Pepper to taste[...]

    Comments: 6