Three Simple Tips for Summer Food Safety

These three simple tips for summer food safety apply all year round! However they are especially important to keep in mind during the summer months when warmer temperatures cause foodborne germs to flourish.

Use a Thermometer: A thermometer is the number one way to ensure that foods are cooked to the correct temperature to destroy germs that can cause food poisoning. The color of a food, like the inside of a hamburger, is not a reliable way to check that it has been cooked to the proper temperature.

  • Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures
    • Beef, Pork, Lamb, & Veal (steaks, roasts, and chops): 145 °F with a 3 minute rest time
    • Ground meats: 160 °F
    • Whole poultry, poultry breasts, & ground poultry: 165 °F

Keep ‘em Separated: …raw foods and cooked foods, that is! To prevent cross-contamination keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood separate from other foods in your refrigerator.  It is a best practice to keep raw foods on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator so juices do not drip on any ready-to-eat food or produce. Never reuse items that have come in contact with raw meat or poultry for cooked food.  Always use clean plates and utensils when serving foods once they’re cooked.

Avoid the Danger Zone: Most bacteria grow rapidly between 40 °F and 140 °F. This temperature range is known as the “Danger Zone.” If left in the Danger Zone bacteria in food can reach dangerous levels. That is why it is important to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Never let perishable foods sit out for more than two hours. In hot weather (above 90 °F), food should NEVER sit out for more than one hour.

More information and resources about summer food safety can be found at foodsafety.gov.

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Three Ways to Move More

We all know that physical activity is good for us, but it can be a challenge to fit fitness into a busy schedule. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that adults accumulate 150 minutes of moderate (or 75 minutes of vigorous) physical activity every week. This may seem like a lot, but every minute adds up! Activity bursts of five minutes here and there throughout your day  accumulate to help you reach your movement goals.  Here are three simple ways to add more movement to your day!

Set an Alarm Use an app on your smart phone or set periodic appointments on your calendar to remind yourself to stand up at least once every hour. Movement breaks can include standing to stretch, a quick walk around your office, or some chair squats to really get the blood flowing!

Be an Ele-voider If you think you don’t have time to take the stairs, think again! A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal showed that taking the stairs rather than waiting for the elevator saved about 15 minutes each workday. That’s a 3% savings of time per workday, which could translate into more productivity as well as increased fitness.

Take Your Breaks Break times and lunch hours are the perfect opportunity to get some movement in! Make it a goal to get up and walk for 10-15 minutes each day during lunch. After the work week you will have added 50-75 minutes of activity to your weekly total! The added bonus is that mid-day activity has been shown to boost mood and increase one’s ability to manage stress.

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Too much chair time?

Move

There are lots of reasons we don’t move much. Truth is…most of them are excuses. Our bodies are built to move not to mold into an office chair or recliner. Make a resolution to move more. Any chance you get, you move! Your body will thank you.

Tips

What’s your favorite way to put more action into your day?

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Dig in!

Gardening

Digging in the dirt benefits your soil – and your mind, body, and soul make out pretty well, too. It’s that time; spring has taken a long while to arrive this year. Pick up your garden gloves and your trowel and dig in!

The benefits of gardening are everywhere!

Helps you sleep better
Increases hand strength and dexterity

Enter the Wahooz Fun Zone Drawing!

How to Play: Make sure you are registered and logged in to ChooseHealthMatters.com. If you are not already registered, go to the column on the right. Click on “register” to get started.

Make a comment to this blog post by 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 by answering this question “What is the biggest benefit you and/or your family receive from gardening – whether it is fruits, veggies, or flowers?” Your comment will automatically enter you into a drawing for a set of two FREE tickets to Wahooz Fun Zone in Meridian, Idaho. You must be a State of Idaho employee to be in the drawing for tickets.

Winners will be posted on Health Matters Stress Center on Thursday, May 25, 2017.

NOTE: IDOC employees are not able to register for blogs. IDOC employees may email their comments to the Blog Administrator.  Their comments will be added to Dig In! by the Administrator; they will be entered into the Wahooz Fun Zone drawing.

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Spring into action!

Spring Into Action

It’s finally here. I thought I would never see green plant life again after this winter. It’s actually exciting to see dirt and mud out my window. Yay for spring and all the changes it brings! Now for some spring cleanup. Looking around, I see stacks of “stuff” in my office and my house, begging to be put away. My pantry appears to be stocked with cold weather food staples, and I have yet to find my good walking shoes.

So I made a little list for you and for me…

What ideas do you have to spring into action and clear the winter clutter out of your life?

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Mom was right.

You are what you eat. That thought goes through my mind while lying in bed after a “bad eating day” when everything I ate seemed to miss the mark. The awful truth, we really are what we eat. Our Moms were right.  The bottom line is the nutritional content of what we eat determines the composition of our cell membranes, bone marrow, blood, and hormones. Oh-oh! Some of us may have Cheetos intertwined in our cell membranes…just sayin.

Its scary to think our medical destiny could be determined more by our forks and our feet than by anything else! One option is “clean eating” but it requires that you train yourself to read ingredient and nutrition labels. The fewer the ingredients and the closer to “whole” a food is, the better it most likely is for your body. Check out these resources…

Think about treating your body like the high-performance machine it is. Feed it the right fuel. You won’t be sorry!

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