Thursday, September 6, 2007

The South Beach Diet, DAILY DISH...

Food Safety 101
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If you're eating the South Beach Diet® way, chances are you're enjoying lots of delicious food that's fresh. That's why it's important to consider food safety. With September being National Food Safety Education Month, it's a fitting time to brush up on the proper and safe preparation of foods, as well as the potential hazards. Here are a few common South Beach Diet–friendly foods that require special attention when handling.

Raw meat: Lean meats such as skinless chicken breast (and lean cuts of pork and beef) can harbor dangerous bacteria, which may cause serious illness or even death. To avoid this health threat, use a dedicated cutting board to prepare raw meat, and thoroughly wash all surfaces and utensils that have come in contact with the meat. In addition, make sure you carefully wash your hands before touching any other foods, utensils, or surfaces.

Eggs: Raw eggs have been associated with salmonella poisoning. To prevent illness, don't eat raw eggs or foods made with raw eggs — like fresh Caesar salad dressing and fresh mayonnaise. Also, always keep your eggs refrigerated and make sure you use them immediately after cracking.

Fruits and vegetables: The surfaces of some fruits and veggies may be contaminated with bacteria or coated with pesticides. Thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables before eating. This goes for the inedible skins of fruits and veggies, like cantaloupe and avocados. Also, keep fruits and veggies away from raw meats, seafood, and eggs.

Fish: Fish can be contaminated with certain toxins, so it's important to buy it fresh and cook it soon after purchasing. When it comes to purchasing fresh fish, make sure it doesn't smell overly fishy or sour. Fresh fillets should have a shiny flesh — steer clear of fillets that look dry or dull. Finally, thoroughly clean all surfaces and utensils after preparation.
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