FOOD SAFETY DANCE
We try to keep it pretty light and fun around here. This newsletter is meant to be a positive in your week!
At the same time, we are here to help food bloggers – and this is a serious topic: food safety.
(Insert the sound of a record scratch here.)
This is also an important opportunity for you, too – an opportunity to be an industry leader on this subject.
In the United States each year, 48 million people get food sickness. That’s one in six Americans! 128,000are hospitalized.
These figures are nothing short of jaw-dropping. Further, the U.S. is pretty aggressive in combating foodborne illness. It is not exactly passive on this issue.
The volume of foodborne illness occurs despite much concerted effort.
What’s more – and this is very relevant for food bloggers – 21% of foodborne illnesses are contracted in the home.
A recent study on the issue has found that even though home cooks know best practices for food safety, they skip them!
The study found that recipes can be an effective place to communicate food safety information – and that people tend to follow recipes’ safety instructions.
For example, when a recipe included the instruction to wash one’s hands after handling eggs, 63% of study participants did so.
If the recipe did not include that instruction, only 22% of people washed their hands. A big difference!
As a result, the Partnership for Food Safety Education released a new Safe Recipe Style Guide to help home cooks keep people safe.
As the guide says, “The Safe Recipe Style Guide is designed for use by any recipe writer – professional recipe developers and food journalists, as well as hobbyists – who writes and publicizes recipes for distribution to the public.”
The guide provides many examples of how to incorporate food safety instructions. For instance, from a recipe for Moroccan Chicken With Eggplant-Zucchini Ragout:
“Add leg quarters to pan, skin-side down. Wash hands with soap and water after handling uncooked chicken. Brown chicken, turning once, 8 to 10 minutes per side.”
Or this, from a recipe for Green Beans With Bacon And New Potatoes:
Wash hands with soap and water. Cut bacon into thirds on clean meat cutting board. Wash cutting board.
What this means for food bloggers: Well, obviously you can follow the many suggestions shared in the guide. We must say, the guidelines are pretty clear and easy to understand.
Not only can you include food safety instructions in your recipes, but you can let your readers know that you are doing so. This is a clear indication that you care about your audience – because you do, right?
This one seems like a no-brainer. Not only can you produce exciting recipes to share with your readers, you can help them in the process!