FoodWIse is a UW-Extension nutrition education program that helps limited resource families and individuals choose healthful diets, purchase and prepare healthful food and handle it safely, and become more food secure by spending their food dollars wisely.
Making Health and Nutrition a Priority during this Coronavirus (COVID19) Pandemic
FoodWIse Programming in Barron County
Barron County Nutrition Education teaches youth in both in-school and summer school programming. Education is currently taking place in Rice Lake, Barron, Cumberland, and Turtle Lake elementary schools. Lessons are taught to the 1st, 3rd, and 4 or 5th-grade levels and include learning about: MyPlate, how to choose healthy foods, food safety, and how to be more physically active. Children also have the opportunity to sample new healthy foods and learn how to make healthy snacks.
Adult education takes place a various Barron County locations including; WIC clinics, senior meal sites, the Barron County Day Development Center, food pantries, and parent-school groups. Education focuses on learning how to plan healthy, inexpensive meals; how to foster healthy eating habits in children; simple meal preparation methods and practices, and how to be more physically active.
Share the Gift of Home Food Safety This Season
Follow these simple steps to properly handle food and reduce your risk of food poisoning:
- Defrost carefully. Never allow foods to defrost at room temperature, on the counter or in warm water. Defrost food only in the refrigerator, in the microwave or in a cool water bath with water that is changed every 30 minutes. When defrosting food in the refrigerator, remember to cover raw meat and place it on the bottom shelf so juices won’t drip onto other foods. When defrosting food in the microwave, cook it immediately afterward.
- Wash hands before, during and after food preparation. Proper hand-washing may eliminate a large percentage of food poisoning cases. Remember to wash hands when switching tasks, such as handling raw meat and then cutting vegetables. Wash hands thoroughly in warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds.
- Keep kitchen surfaces clean.Use hot, soapy water to wash countertops and surfaces, cutting boards, refrigerator door handles and utensils. After cleaning, keep it clean by avoiding cross-contamination.
- Use two cutting boards.Dedicate one for raw meat, poultry and fish and the other for ready-to-eat foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Make it easy to remember by using color-coded cutting boards, one for raw meats and one for ready-to-eat foods.
- Employ different utensils for different tasks. Use separate spoons and forks to taste, stir and serve food.
- Resist temptation.When baking, avoid eating foods containing raw eggs such as cookie dough or cake batter. Raw eggs may contain harmful bacteria that can lead to food poisoning.
- Buy and use a food thermometer.It is the only reliable way to determine the doneness of your food and ensure that food is cooked to proper temperatures. (Do not rely on “clear juices” to tell that the turkey is done.)
- Refrigerate food within two hours of serving.This helps to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria that can lead to food poisoning. This is especially important when serving buffets. Use a refrigerator thermometer and make sure it’s set at below 40°F.
- Download the Kitchen Safety Checklist.Ensure your kitchen is ready with the tools and resources you need before the big event.
Are Your Guests at High Risk for Food Poisoning?
While you should always practice safe food handling, some guests might be particularly vulnerable to food poisoning, including older adults, pregnant women, young children and people with weakened immune systems. This may mean taking special precautions and keeping certain high-risk foods off the menu.
Whether you’re bringing a holiday dish to the party or preparing the holiday feast yourself, it’s important to practice safe food handling and keep in mind the needs of those who may be vulnerable to food poisoning.
Take special care during the holidays to ensure that vulnerable guests avoid high-risk foods, such as raw or under-cooked eggs, raw or unpasteurized dairy products, raw fish or shellfish, raw or rare meat or under-cooked poultry.
Joy to the Leftovers
Holiday meals often bring leftovers. Perishable food should not be left at room temperature for more than two hours. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within two hours of serving or throw them out. In hot weather, when 90°F or above, toss within one hour of serving. Use an appliance thermometer to check that the refrigerator is cooling to 40°F or below and the freezer is 0°F or below.
Store leftovers in shallow containers (2 inches deep or less). Remove turkey from the bone and store it separately from the stuffing and gravy. Slice breast meat; legs and wings may be left whole. Use turkey within 3 to 4 days; stuffing and gravy within 1 to 2 days. Reheat leftovers to 165°F.
When in doubt, throw it out!
Download: The Holiday Helper Tip sheet.
Reviewed November 2018
Summer Food Safety
Related Links of Interest
- UW – Extension WNEP – For more information on WNEP
- Choose MyPlate – USDA Steps to a Healthier You
- Food Share Wisconsin – Information or eligibility in Barron County call 715-537-5691.
- Amercian Dietetic Association
If you have any questions regarding FoodWIse in Barron County, please contact:
Barron County – UW Extension
335 E. Monroe Avenue, Room 2206
Barron, WI 54812-1540