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So far Sam Vargas has created 30 blog entries.

Stay On Top of Food Recalls


Food recalls in the national news have been grabbing some priority headlines lately. Actually, it’s a continuous public health issue involving some kind of contamination, mislabeling, undeclared food allergens, or tampering.  Every month several foods are being recalled that we as food industry professionals may not always be aware of. Past lists have included food ingredients from China, peanut butter, meats, poultry, seafood, canned chili, produce such as spinach and tomatoes products.

Stay On Top of Food Recalls2017-08-17T15:35:22+00:00

Greens & Spinach – Please Lettuce Be Safe to Eat


According to the new food nutrition pyramid, we are to eat at a minimum, around 3 cups of dark green vegetables along with other servings of fruits and vegetables each week. That is becoming more difficult as outbreaks such as E. coli 0157:H7 creates bad news for the produce industry, not to mention the victims.

Greens & Spinach – Please Lettuce Be Safe to Eat2017-08-17T15:36:11+00:00

Refrigeration Tips to Keep Your Food Safe


A refrigerator is one of the most important pieces of kitchen equipment for keeping foods safe. In a food service environment, our existence depends on the cooling equipment. The science of refrigeration has evolved from prehistoric times when man found his wild game would last longer packed in the coolness of a cave or packed in snow.  Our ancestors harvested ice to keep food cold. Now, if the power goes off, we are instantly reminded of the refrigerator’s importance to our daily life, at home and certainly in a food service facility.

Refrigeration Tips to Keep Your Food Safe2017-08-17T15:36:37+00:00

Food Service Hand Hygiene: Basic Handwashing – Part II


Ignoring handwashing as a priority is easy until faced with a crippling lawsuit. Your risk of transmitting a foodborne disease via a food workers hands will never be zero, but the good news is training your crew about handwashing is not complicated. Molding behavior to do it at the right time, using the correct method is the tough part. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention says the single most effective way to stop the spread of infection is through handwashing. Last month’s article was on the physical equipment to help get better handwashing compliance. The most important part is the practice of the basic handwashing steps:

Food Service Hand Hygiene: Basic Handwashing – Part II2017-08-17T15:37:00+00:00

The Physical Elements of Food Service Hand Hygiene – Part I


September is National Food Safety Education Month and the theme has a rhyme to it – “Keep Hands Clean with Good Hygiene”. Hand washing is one of the public’s best defenses against the spread of both common and rare, even life-threatening, diseases including those caused by food, and against gastrointestinal infections caused by such organisms as the Norovirus, which plagues the cruise ship industry and food service in general.

The Physical Elements of Food Service Hand Hygiene – Part I2017-08-17T15:37:38+00:00

The Incredible, Edible Egg Safety Quiz


This nutritious, delicate food is a part of many food service menus as a main course and one of the most common ingredients. The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture says Americans consume an average of 234 eggs per person per year. Eggs have also been the source of some significant foodborne outbreaks in the U.S. from one specific type of Salmonella. While eggs are an important source of protein in the diet, an estimated 1 in 20,000 eggs in the U.S. supply will contain the SE (Salmonella Enteritidis) bacteria and can cause illness if eaten raw in foods or not thoroughly cooked before consumption.

The Incredible, Edible Egg Safety Quiz2017-08-17T15:38:04+00:00

Fetching a Pail of Good, Safe Water


In the ambitious fight for food safety, don’t overlook the safety and quality of the crystal clear liquid coming out of your faucet. The United States has controls in place to ensure we have potable (safe) water that is treated and filtered to make it taste better and have no odor. Water standards and treatment are also important in food service so we don’t need a repairman twice a year to chip away the block of lime on the dishwashers heating element with a hammer and chisel in order to replace it.

Fetching a Pail of Good, Safe Water2017-08-17T15:39:31+00:00

Food Safety for Pork – Part 1


If you haven’t tasted pork lately because you are not a red meat fan (or the other white meat), there are a few changes in the nutritional value of pork, the pork cooking temperatures, and the variety of ways we consume it. The amount of pork the average American consumes hovers around 50 pounds a year.  Although pork is the number one meat consumed in the world, there are some religious restrictions on consumption of pork. U.S. consumption of pork dropped during the 1970s, largely because its high fat content caused health-conscious Americans to choose leaner meats. Today's hogs have much less fat due to improved genetics, breeding and feeding.

Food Safety for Pork – Part 12017-08-17T15:40:29+00:00


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