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Cooking outdoors was once only a summer activity shared with family and friends. Now more than half of Americans say they are cooking outdoors year round. So whether the snow is blowing or the sun is shining brightly, it's important to follow food safety guidelines to prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying and causing foodborne illness. Use these simple guidelines for grilling food safely.
From the Store: Home First
When shopping, buy cold food like meat and poultry last, right before checkout. Separate raw meat and poultry from other food in your shopping cart. To guard against cross-contamination — which can happen when raw meat or poultry juices drip on other food — put packages of raw meat and poultry into plastic bags.
Plan to drive directly home from the grocery store. You may want to take a cooler with ice for perishables. Always refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours. Refrigerate within 1 hour when the temperature is above 90 °F.
At home, place meat and poultry in the refrigerator immediately. Freeze poultry and ground meat that won't be used in 1 or 2 days; freeze other meat within 4 to 5 days.
Completely thaw meat and poultry before grilling so it cooks more evenly. Use the refrigerator for slow, safe thawing or thaw sealed packages in cold water. You can microwave defrost if the food will be placed immediately on the grill.
A marinade is a savory, acidic sauce in which a food is soaked to enrich its flavor or to tenderize it. Marinate food in the refrigerator, not on the counter. Poultry and cubed meat or stew meat can be marinated up to 2 days. Beef, veal, pork, and lamb roasts, chops, and steaks may be marinated up to 5 days. If some of the marinade is to be used as a sauce on the cooked food, reserve a portion of the marinade before putting raw meat and poultry in it. However, if the marinade used on raw meat or poultry is to be reused, make sure to let it come to a boil first to destroy any harmful bacteria.
When carrying food to another location, keep it cold to minimize bacterial growth. Use an insulated cooler with sufficient ice or ice packs to keep the food at 40 °F or below. Pack food right from the refrigerator into the cooler immediately before leaving home.
Keep Cold Food Cold
Keep meat and poultry refrigerated until ready to use. Only take out the meat and poultry that will immediately be placed on the grill.
When using a cooler, keep it out of the direct sun by placing it in the shade or shelter. Avoid opening the lid too often, which lets cold air out and warm air in. Pack beverages in one cooler and perishables in a separate cooler.
Keep Everything Clean
Be sure there are plenty of clean utensils and platters. To prevent foodborne illness, don't use the same platter and utensils for raw and cooked meat and poultry. Harmful bacteria present in raw meat and poultry and their juices can contaminate safely cooked food.
If you're eating away from home, find out if there's a source of clean water. If not, bring water for preparation and cleaning. Or pack clean cloths, and wet towelettes for cleaning surfaces and hands.
Precooking food partially in the microwave, oven, or stove is a good way of reducing grilling time. Just make sure that the food goes immediately on the preheated grill to complete cooking.
# SAFE MINIMUM INTERNAL TEMPERATURESWhole poultry: 165 °F
# Poultry breasts: 165 °F
# Ground poultry: 165 °F
# Hamburgers, beef: 160 °F
# Beef, veal, and lamb (steaks, roasts and chops):
* Medium rare 145 °F
* Medium 160 °F
# All cuts of pork: 160 °F
Cook food to a safe minimum internal temperature to destroy harmful bacteria. Meat and poultry cooked on a grill often browns very fast on the outside. Use a food thermometer to be sure the food has reached a safe minimum internal temperature. Beef, veal, and lamb steaks, roasts and chops can be cooked to 145 °F. Hamburgers made of ground beef should reach 160 °F. All cuts of pork should reach 160 °F. All poultry should reach a minimum of 165 °F.
NEVER partially grill meat or poultry and finish cooking later.
When reheating fully cooked meats like hot dogs, grill to 165 °F or until steaming hot.
Keep Hot Food Hot
After cooking meat and poultry on the grill, keep it hot until served — at 140 °F or warmer.
Keep cooked meats hot by setting them to the side of the grill rack, not directly over the coals where they could overcook. At home, the cooked meat can be kept hot in an oven set at approximately 200 °F, in a chafing dish or slow cooker, or on a warming tray.
Serving the Food
When taking food off the grill, use a clean platter. Don't put cooked food on the same platter that held raw meat or poultry. Any harmful bacteria present in the raw meat juices could contaminate safely cooked food.
In hot weather (above 90 °F), food should never sit out for more than 1 hour.
Refrigerate any leftovers promptly in shallow containers. Discard any food left out more than 2 hours (1 hour if temperatures are above 90 °F).
The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.
The ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the GAR made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.
Local Observances Claim To Be First Local springtime tributes to the Civil War dead already had been held in various places. One of the first occurred in Columbus, Miss., April 25, 1866, when a group of women visited a cemetery to decorate the graves of Confederate soldiers who had fallen in battle at Shiloh. Nearby were the graves of Union soldiers, neglected because they were the enemy. Disturbed at the sight of the bare graves, the women placed some of their flowers on those graves, as well.
Today, cities in the North and the South claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day in 1866. Both Macon and Columbus, Ga., claim the title, as well as Richmond, Va. The village of Boalsburg, Pa., claims it began there two years earlier. A stone in a Carbondale, Ill., cemetery carries the statement that the first Decoration Day ceremony took place there on April 29, 1866. Carbondale was the wartime home of Gen. Logan. Approximately 25 places have been named in connection with the origin of Memorial Day, many of them in the South where most of the war dead were buried.
Official Birthplace Declared In 1966, Congress and President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, N.Y., the “birthplace” of Memorial Day. There, a ceremony on May 5, 1866, honored local veterans who had fought in the Civil War. Businesses closed and residents flew flags at half-staff. Supporters of Waterloo’s claim say earlier observances in other places were either informal, not community-wide or one-time events.
By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 throughout the nation. State legislatures passed proclamations designating the day, and the Army and Navy adopted regulations for proper observance at their facilities.
It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays.
Some States Have Confederate Observances Many Southern states also have their own days for honoring the Confederate dead. Mississippi celebrates Confederate Memorial Day on the last Monday of April, Alabama on the fourth Monday of April, and Georgia on April 26. North and South Carolina observe it on May 10, Louisiana on June 3 and Tennessee calls that date Confederate Decoration Day. Texas celebrates Confederate Heroes Day January 19 and Virginia calls the last Monday in May Confederate Memorial Day.
Gen. Logan’s order for his posts to decorate graves in 1868 “with the choicest flowers of springtime” urged: “We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. ... Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.”
The crowd attending the first Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery was approximately the same size as those that attend today’s observance, about 5,000 people. Then, as now, small American flags were placed on each grave — a tradition followed at many national cemeteries today. In recent years, the custom has grown in many families to decorate the graves of all departed loved ones.
The origins of special services to honor those who die in war can be found in antiquity. The Athenian leader Pericles offered a tribute to the fallen heroes of the Peloponnesian War over 24 centuries ago that could be applied today to the 1.1 million Americans who have died in the nation’s wars: “Not only are they commemorated by columns and inscriptions, but there dwells also an unwritten memorial of them, graven not on stone but in the hearts of men.”
To ensure the sacrifices of America ’s fallen heroes are never forgotten, in December 2000, the U.S. Congress passed and the president signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” P.L. 106-579, creating the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance. The commission’s charter is to “encourage the people of the United States to give something back to their country, which provides them so much freedom and opportunity” by encouraging and coordinating commemorations in the United States of Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance.
The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada states: “It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.”
BBB Advice on How to Stand Out at a Job Fair:
In early March, the Georgia Department of Labor organized the largest job fair in the state’s history; more than 19,000 attended in order to meet with 100 employers. In California, more than 10,000 people flocked to Dodger Stadium for a job fair. And in Cleveland 7,000 showed up for a job fair vying for 1,000 jobs, causing more than 2,000 job seekers to be turned away by overwhelmed fire marshals.
“Job fairs can be a great way to meet with many potential employers, however, in today’s flooded job market, standing out from the crowd and positioning yourself as the best candidate is a tough battle,” said Steve Cox, BBB spokesperson. “With a good game plan and some focused preparation, though, job hunters can tip the scales in their favor and greatly increase the probability of making a good impression and securing a new position.”
BBB offers the following advice for job hunters on how to prepare and present themselves at a job fair:
Research companies first. In some cases, only one employer is holding a job fair, which makes research much easier. For larger job fairs bringing in many employers, job hunters should be able to find a list of attending companies at the host’s Web site and begin researching the companies they want to target beforehand. Not only will this help job hunters focus on specific opportunities, but it will also help them develop intelligent, tailored pitches for the employers they want to engage.
Take plenty of resumes. Before walking into a job fair, job hunters should know which businesses are attending, and what positions they are recruiting for. Job hunters should have customized resumes prepared for their target businesses, and should bring plenty of copies of their standard resume to pass along to other employers. Also, job hunters should take a briefcase or portfolio to organize and hold business cards and other materials.
Perfect an elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is your description of who you are, what your skill set is, and how you can benefit the business. The pitch should be brief, conversational and natural, but should be well-rehearsed. The elevator pitch simply must be memorable and sincere since job hunters may only have a few minutes at the most to make an impression on the potential employer.
Dress and act the part. Putting your best foot forward at a job fair means “looking the part” by wearing professional clothes, such as a suit and removing any unusual piercings and covering tattoos. A job hunter also needs to act like a professional, including not swearing or making inappropriate jokes or speaking ill of a former employer.
Be confident. While a day at a job fair can be exhausting, it’s important to always act confident and enthusiastic. Job hunters should work hard to stay positive and take breaks to get organized and recharge their batteries. In fact, BBB recommends taking a few minutes to review your elevator pitch and materials before approaching each of your target businesses.
Don’t become a victim. While instances of scammers setting up shop at a job fair are rare, job hunters should never pay an upfront fee to any potential employer at a job fair, nor should they give any personal information such as bank account or Social Security numbers until they have researched the company fully outside of the fair.
For more advice on finding a job, as well as guidance from BBB on avoiding fraud while on the hunt, go to www.bbb.org
6 job-hunting tips from Bankrate.com
1. Start early
2. Go to the government
3. Think seasonally
4. Surf and stop in
5. Be businesslike
6. Depend on yourself
2. Why are you looking for a job? Keep it brief. A straightforward answer is best. For example, “My organization was forced to downsize.” Avoid negative statements about yourself, your work, or your ability to get along with others. Nevercriticize former employers or coworkers.
3. You haven’t worked for a long time. Why not? You may have gaps in employment for many reasons. Be honest. Speak confidently about your experiences during the gaps. Some could transfer to on-the-job skills. For instance, if you were a caregiver, you managed complex financial issues. As a volunteer, you might have worked with diverse groups and on flexible schedules.
4. What are you looking for? It takes a lot of thinking to be ready for this question. Don’t speak in generalities. Be prepared to name the type of position you think would be appropriate for you and how your skills would translate to a new employer.
5. Aren’t you overqualified for this position? Even though “overqualified” can be shorthand for “old” or “expensive,” it’s important to stay positive. Express your enthusiasm for the job and pride in your qualifications. Explain what makes you interested in this position at this point in your career—such as wanting to apply your skills to a new field or to achieve more flexibility and work-life balance.
6. We have state-of-the-art technology. Would you be able to jump right in? Show you are adaptable and tech-savvy. Give examples of projects you’ve done which required computer skills and familiarity with electronic media. Emphasize training you’ve taken to keep your skills up to date.
7. We don’t have many employees who are your age. Would that bother you? Explain that you believe your age would be an asset, you are eager to learn, and it doesn’t matter who helps you. Describe recent experiences, whether at work or in other situations, where age diversity has been an asset. Federal law bars employers from considering age in employment decisions. Though it’s not illegal to be asked your age, the question could be a red flag about the employer’s commitment to age diversity. Know your rights under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
8. What’s your biggest weakness? This is a reverse invitation to toot your own horn. Do it with an answer that puts you in a good light. For example, “I’m too detail-oriented, but I work hard to control that.” Keep it simple—and smile.
9. What are your salary requirements? Try to postpone this question until a job offer has been made. Prepare by knowing the going rate in your area (sites like Salary.com can help). If you don’t know the range and the interviewer persists, reply, “What salary range are you working with?” The interviewer may very well tell you.
10. Do you have any questions? Show your interest and initiative by asking specific questions about the organization and what you can expect in the job. Use your questions to demonstrate how your skills can contribute to the organization. Answering “no” to this question says you’re not really interested in the job.
FDA Warns Consumers to Stop Using Hydroxycut Products
Dietary Supplements Linked to One Death; Pose Risk of Liver Injury
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers to immediately stop using Hydroxycut products by Iovate Health Sciences Inc., of Oakville, Ontario and distributed by Iovate Health Sciences USA Inc. of Blasdell, N.Y. Some Hydroxycut products are associated with a number of serious liver injuries. Iovate has agreed to recall Hydroxycut products from the market.
The FDA has received 23 reports of serious health problems ranging from jaundice and elevated liver enzymes, an indicator of potential liver injury, to liver damage requiring liver transplant. One death due to liver failure has been reported to the FDA. Other health problems reported include seizures; cardiovascular disorders; and rhabdomyolysis, a type of muscle damage that can lead to other serious health problems such as kidney failure.
Liver injury, although rare, was reported by patients at the doses of Hydroxycut recommended on the bottle. Symptoms of liver injury include jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes) and brown urine. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, light-colored stools, excessive fatigue, weakness, stomach or abdominal pain, itching, and loss of appetite.
“The FDA urges consumers to discontinue use of Hydroxycut products in order to avoid any undue risk. Adverse events are rare, but exist. Consumers should consult a physician or other health care professional if they are experiencing symptoms possibly associated with these products,” said Linda Katz, M.D., interim chief medical officer of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
Hydroxycut products are dietary supplements that are marketed for weight-loss, as fat burners, as energy-enhancers, as low carb diet aids, and for water loss under the Iovate and MuscleTech brand names. The list of products being recalled by Iovate currently includes:
Hydroxycut Regular Rapid Release Caplets
Hydroxycut Caffeine-Free Rapid Release Caplets
Hydroxycut Hardcore Liquid Caplets
Hydroxycut Max Liquid Caplets
Hydroxycut Regular Drink Packets
Hydroxycut Caffeine-Free Drink Packets
Hydroxycut Hardcore Drink Packets (Ignition Stix)
Hydroxycut Max Drink Packets
Hydroxycut Liquid Shots
Hydroxycut Hardcore RTDs (Ready-to-Drink)
Hydroxycut Max Aqua Shed
Hydroxycut Carb Control
Although the FDA has not received reports of serious liver-related adverse reactions for all Hydroxycut products, Iovate has agreed to recall all the products listed above. Hydroxycut Cleanse and Hoodia products are not affected by the recall. Consumers who have any of the products involved in the recall are advised to stop using them and to return them to the place of purchase. The agency has not yet determined which ingredients, dosages, or other health-related factors may be associated with risks related to these Hydroxycut products. The products contain a variety of ingredients and herbal extracts.
Health care professionals and consumers are encouraged to report serious adverse events (side effects) or product quality problems with the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online, by regular mail, fax or phone.
–Regular Mail: Use FDA postage paid form 3500 found at: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/getforms.htm and mail to MedWatch, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852-9787
www.socialsecurity.gov -- to see all the top baby names for 2008.
|Rank||Male name||Female name|
|Note: Rank 1 is the most popular, rank 2 is the next most popular, and so forth.|
| What mother doesn't treasure the memory of the little hands that cooked a Mother's Day breakfast! Mother's Day is the perfect time for dads and other caregivers to teach children simple food safety lessons while supervising the preparation of a special meal made for Mom. |
Mother's Day has been officially celebrated the second Sunday in May since 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson signed the day into national observance. Ever since, children have been lovingly — yet messily — preparing breakfast in bed and other meals for their moms.
It is important for children to learn and practice safe food handling techniques so moms don't end up becoming the patient from a foodborne illness. Not washing hands, leaving perishable food sitting out too long at room temperature, and not cooking food to a high enough temperature to destroy bacteria are several main causes of foodborne illness.
FSIS encourages both children and adults to put these four easy to remember lessons — Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill — into practice in order to Be Food Safe on Mother's Day and every day:
Lesson 1. Stay Clean
Bacteria can be hiding just about anywhere: in the kitchen, on a plate and on hands. These invisible enemies can multiply and make Mom sick. Cooks of every age should wash their hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds before and after food preparation, after playing with pets, and after using the bathroom.
All fruits and vegetables should be washed with running water before cutting or eating them. Only put food on clean surfaces. Always use clean knives, forks, spoons and plates.
Lesson 2. Keep Raw and Cooked Foods Separated
Cross-contamination is the technical description for how bacteria can be spread from one food product or surface to another. This is especially true when handling raw meat, poultry, eggs and seafood, so keep these foods and their juice away from ready-to-eat foods.
Always use a clean plate. Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry and seafood. Never put food on a dirty table or counter. Always wash cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot, soapy water after they come in contact with raw meat, poultry, eggs and seafood.
Lesson 3. Cook Food to Safe Temperatures
Foodborne bacteria can't be seen, smelled or tasted. Use a food thermometer to make sure food has reached a USDA recommended minimum internal temperature. No matter how old the chef, you can't tell food is cooked safely by how it looks.
Always place the food thermometer in the thickest part of the food, away from bone and fat, to check the temperature. When cooking in a microwave oven, stir, cover, and rotate food for even cooking. It's important to let food stand for a few minutes after cooking it in the microwave. Always cook eggs before eating them. When cooked, eggs should be firm, not runny.
Lesson 4. Keep Perishable Foods Cold
Bacteria need time and the right environment to grow and multiply - such as moisture and warmth. Most foodborne illness-causing organisms grow quickly above 40° Fahrenheit. Some bacteria can double their numbers every 20 minutes at temperatures above 40° Fahrenheit. In a few hours, bacteria on food can cause an illness or form "toxins" that might not be fully destroyed by cooking.
Some foods that need to stay cold (at 40° Fahrenheit or below) include sandwiches or salads made with meat and poultry; tuna and egg salad; milk, cheese, and yogurt; and peeled or cut fruits and vegetables.
Finally, any leftovers from Mom's special meal should be refrigerated within two hours. Perishable food left out for more than two hours should be thrown out and not fed to the family pet. Even pets are susceptible to foodborne bacteria. To reheat leftovers safely, make sure they reach 165" Fahrenheit as measured with a food thermometer.
USDA has many food safety activity books, games, and other materials for kids and teens that can be printed from http://www.fsis.usda.gov/food_safety_education/
for_kids_&_teens/. For more information on safe food handling, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline.
For more information in English and Spanish, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854); TTY: 1-800-256-7072. The Hotline's hours are Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Eastern Time, year-round. An extensive selection of timely food safety messages is also available at the same number 24 hours a day. Information can also be accessed on the FSIS Web site at www.fsis.usda.gov. E-mail inquiries may be directed to MPHotline.email@example.com. Podcasts and SignFSIS video-casts in American Sign Language featuring text-captioning are available on the Web at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/news_&_events/multimedia/.
Experts say it's easy to do because Twitter is so easy to sign up for.
The twitter jackers sign up with a name similar to a celebrity or even you and then proceed impersonate the victim.
There are Twitter look a like accounts for Bill Gates, Usama bin Laden and and politicians.
Twitter advises impersonation victims to contact its Terms of Service group. But depending on how quickly the profile in question is caught, it may be too late.