Nutrition students hosted a health fair last week to share tips on food safety and healthy living. Elizabeth Green, a senior nutrition major, gave advice on preventing foodborne illness both on and off campus, especially as summer approaches.
Since picnics are popular in the spring and summer, Green warned against keeping food out too long.
“There’s a danger zone between 40 degrees and 140 degrees, and food between that range shouldn’t be out for more than two hours,” Green said.
For those who host cookouts during the summer, Green suggests bringing out raw burger patties on one plate and then putting them on a separate, clean plate once they’re cooked.
“Foodborne illnesses happen all the time,” Green said. “It’s one of the most preventable and unreported illnesses.”
Other tips to help prevent foodborne illness and cross-contamination include washing hands, using separate cutting boards when cooking and rinsing off fruits and vegetables before eating them.
Ethan Bixby, a senior political science major, said he learned more about how to cook meat at the fair. Bixby said he learned that he could put raw meat in a slow cooker, such as a Crock-Pot.
“You’ve just got to cook it for the right amount of time,” he said.
A community nutrition class hosted the health fair. The class requires students to host a health fair of their choice.
To remind students about food safety, nutrition students handed out plastic cutting boards, hand sanitizers, bottle-openers, magnets and lunch boxes.
After attending the fair, Bixby said it had “definitely inspired me to cook healthy meals at home.”